Brit woman, 80, found shot dead in her Costa Blanca home as ‘couple arrested’
A BRITISH pensioner has been shot dead in her Costa Blanca home near Elche.
Police have reportedly arrested a couple on suspicion of shooting the 80-year-old woman.
The victim’s body was discovered just after 6.30pm on Wednesday after police were called to the property in Elche near Alicante.
The detainees have been described as a man and woman thought to have been seen leaving the murder victim’s villa by a plumber who had been called to the property to do an urgent repair job.
The possible motive for the crime has not been revealed.
Detectives said the death is being treated as murder.
Local reports said the unnamed woman had been at her home on a residential estate called Urbanizacion Torre Azul between Elche and the nearby town of Torrellano.
Police are understood to have increased patrols in the area and the property has been cordoned with police tape.
Worried neighbours are thought to have called police when they found her body after a plumber went round for an arranged visit and got no answer when he knocked on the front door.
Well-placed sources have said the victim had lived alone for several years after the death of her husband.
It is not yet clear if her next-of-kin have been informed.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police confirmed: “We are investigating the death of a British woman who was shot dead at a property in Elche. We are investigating it as a murder and can confirm she was shot dead.
“The alarm was raised around 6.30pm yesterday/on Wednesday.
“She was 80 years old and lived alone.
“No arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing. We are not in a position to discuss the possible motive at this stage.”
A source close to the investigation said the possibility she was shot by intruders in a violent burglary had not been ruled out.
However, one local unconfirmed report said investigators were not satisfied that was the case from initial inquiries.
Police have not confirmed if anything was missing from the crime scene.
The gunshot wounds the victim suffered are thought to have been fired from close range, and had been killed shortly before she was found dead.
One neighbour told Spanish press two strangers – he assumed to be a couple – dressed in black had been seen walking on the residential estate on Wednesday afternoon but was unable to offer any more information.
He said: “I wasn’t able to leave my house yesterday because I’ve got a problem with my leg. The dead woman lived alone. I knew her from sight.”
But the plumber who called police when he couldn’t raise the victim also confirmed a sighting of a couple leaving the property as he arrived.
The mystery man and woman are said to have driven off in a black Peugeot 207 or 208.
Spanish radio station SER said the man had a beard and the woman was dressed in black and both wore hoodies and were using face masks.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: “We are aware of these reports but it is nothing we can comment on at the moment.
“We are keeping an open mind on the motive although we can confirm the fatal shooting is being treated as a murder at this stage.
“Suicide has been ruled out.”
A post-mortem is due to take place in Alicante in the coming hours.
The £350,000 detached villa where the shooting occurred is on a residential estate of around 250 to 300 houses which is home to Spaniards as well as foreign nationals including Brits and Germans.
One local, who asked not to be named, described the dead woman as someone “with a strong character who was not afraid to speak her mind.”
She is thought to have run-ins with some neighbours over the amount of noise she claimed they made.
Although detectives have confirmed she was British, she is understood to be a naturalised British citizen who was born outside the UK.
Her husband, who is understood to have been British, is thought to have died several years ago from cancer.
One local report said she had been born in Holland, although a neighbour said she was born in Germany before acquiring British citizenship years ago through marriage to her late husband.