RACHEL CASTANO, 63 was beaten to death by her partner and left for dead among 30 cats at their home in Getafe.
Paco Pando, 71, walked into Getafe police station to confess his crime in the early hours of Tuesday, (August 2) but prior to this he had spent several hours floating around local bars.
On the night that the murder allegedly took place, Paco had gone out for a drink at a bar near his home. He had complained that €4 for a ‘cubata’ (large drink) was expensive, chatted with a few people and left. He later visited other bars, offering to buy people drinks.
Only a matter of hours later, he walked into Getafe police station at 5:10am and told police he had killed his partner. Police took him to the scene and certified the death of the woman who was laying on the ground among 30 cats.
One witness told El Espanol:
“He came in, invited us to join him in a couple of bottles of beer and told us that he was going to party in Goya Street, Madrid, to La Boite del Pintor, which had a very good atmosphere. He said he was going alone and would meet more people there. “
Neighbours claimed that they heard frequent arguments between the couple but on the night Rachel was believed to have been murdered, nobody heard a sound.
Rachel had previously reported Paco to the police twice for his ill treatment of her but she later withdrew the complaints. The City Council of Getafe had made contact to offer support and advice but she had never attended the appointments.
Described as an introvert by one local resident, who said:
“She was rather introverted. She spoke little and dealings with her were not easy. She was a very peculiar woman, who shunned the neighbors.”
The murder has shaken Getafe, one woman who lives in the same building said:
“To think, the woman has been there dead for two days surrounded by animals.”
Described by many locals as jovial, educated and courteous, Paco often frequented nearby bars and discos and was a popular character, but not with everybody. Others described him as having a violent attitude. One neighbour said:
“I do not know what Rachel had to go through, but it had to be very hard. Here in the neighborhood, everyone knows that he hit her.”
Paco has been taken into police custody pending legal action.
An animal protection association collected the 30 cats and has taken them to a shelter for re-homing.
The City Council of Getafe, led by the acting mayor María Nieves Sevilla Urbán said:
“We will continue fighting to achieve the eradication of all forms of violence against women.”