May 22, 2012
A Spanish police officer assigned to the Spanish Embassy in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, who went missing five days ago, has been found dead on the outskirts of that city, Spanish Foreign Ministry officials told Efe Tuesday.
Antonio Cejudo, who had been posted in that country for two years, belonged to the riot control unit and his whereabouts had been unknown since last Thursday when he was scheduled to travel to Spain, one of his brothers said.
The police officer's body was found shot in the head on a hill outside Sana'a with his service weapon by his side, the Spanish National Police said.
The 38-year-old officer had been dead for three days, forensic specialists said.
The police officer's body was found at a remote, difficult to reach location and was identified by a member of the security unit at the Spanish Embassy.
Yemeni judicial authorities are investigating the circumstances of the officer's death, and, according to Spanish Foreign Ministry officials, a call for an autopsy has not been ruled out.
Following the officer's disappearance, his brother Javier Cejudo said in a Twitter posting that "the situation looks bad" and "it appears to be a kidnapping," though the Spanish government continues to study a number of hypotheses on exactly what happened.
The police officer, who had been diagnosed with a serious illness a month ago, left the embassy in Sana'a carrying his gun in a car of the diplomatic legation, police officials told Efe.
The agent had planned to arrive in Madrid last Friday on vacation, but when his family lost contact with him, they got in touch with the embassy.
The country's judicial police and security forces mobilized to find him, as did the attache of the Spanish Interior Ministry and personnel from other European countries including France, Italy and Germany.
The Spanish Embassy is in the process of repatriating the body according to the protocol established by Yemeni judicial authorities.
Cejudo, who had been assigned to the riot police unit in the southern Spanish city of Granada, was separated and had no children.
Since 2010 he had been detailed to the security unit of the Spanish Embassy in Sana'a. EFE