The 60-year-old woman died on Tuesday when she was strangled, allegedly at the hands of her partner, in a rural district of Orihuela. When he eventually called the emergency services, in order to confess to the crime, sources say that she had been dead for at least 8 hours.

The alleged murderer is said to be a 57-year-old Bulgarian, and although he reported his partners’ strangulation by phone, on the arrival of police, and during his arrest, he refused to make any further statement.

The call was made at approximately 7.45pm and although it was thought that the woman had only recently died, the forensic examination determined that the woman had been dead for more than eight hours.

The murder took place in a two-story detached house located in the village of La Buena Vida in the hamlet of Orihuela de Desamparados, and when the agents and the ambulance arrived, it was only possible to confirm the woman’s death.

Investigators believe that the woman had said that she was considering a separation from the man, with whom she had been living for 20 years, although she was not currently in a position to do so, because she was suffering from an illness and had no work or financial resources.

The alleged perpetrator has been detained in custody prior to his appearance before the Orihuela of Instruction 2 of Orihuela, which deals particularly with violence against women in the city.

The deceased had not filed any previous complaint against her partner, and neither had neighbours had heard fights or raised voices. The death is the first sexist violence of the year in the Valencian Community, and the 28th in the country in 2018.

Following on from the death, on Wednesday, members of the Orihuela Council turned out, together with municipal employees, to pay their respect with a minute’s silence on the steps of the council offices in Orihuela City and Playa Flamenca.