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Adoption murder horror: Russian boys, 13 and 16, are arrested after their Spanish adoptive mother is found knifed to death, bound and gagged in car boot

PUBLISHED: 11:38, 8 February 2024 | UPDATED: 12:53, 8 February 2024

  • It is believed the eldest child stabbed his mother in the neck with a sharp object 

  • Youngest suspect is unable to be charged and will be handed to social services

Two Russian children have been arrested in Spain on suspicion of killing their adoptive mother, found bound, gagged and stabbed in the boot of a car last night.

Silvia López, 48, was found dead in Castro Urdiales, Cantabria, late last night before Spain's Civil Guard swooped in to detain her two sons.

Police are treating the death as murder and say they were led to the unnamed children, 13 and 16, after they called their grandmother last night.

Preliminary investigations indicate the 16-year-old hit his mother in the neck with a sharp object, and that the pair then fled and pretended they had been kidnapped to dupe the authorities. 

By Spanish law, the 13-year-old is too young to be charged and will be handed over to social services where a team of psychologists and health professionals are expected to monitor him.

48-year-old Silvia Lopez, who was found dead in a garage late Wednesday night

Police look at the crime scene in northern Spain after the mother was found dead

Police worked through the night to unravel the mystery after finding the mother in a garage near Santander and amid the reports of the sons' kidnapping.

Local police and Civil Guard set up roadblocks overnight to locate the boys while investigators explored the avenue of a potential attack of domestic violence.

With Ms Lopez' father working out of town overnight, they judged it improbable he was involved.

'He didn't believe it. He was devastated,' a source close to the investigation said, as reported by El Diario.

Checkpoints stretched all across the region as police scoured Castro for signs of the missing children, searching the boots of passing cars.

They were eventually found in Cotolino Park, hidden in a hilly area.

One reportedly tried to flee while the other was detained by the Civil Guard. They did not own up to the crime, local media reported.

A regional government spokesman said this morning that the older brother was suspected of killing Ms Lopez

Detectives are yet to make any official comment but are expected to do so later today.

The younger of the two boys is currently with youth prosecutors.

The older child, who is also being described as a minor but whose age has not yet been made public, is understood to be in custody at a Civil Guard station in Castro Urdiales.

Castro Urdiales mayoress Susana Herran said this morning: 'Our feeling is one of absolute sadness. It's awful that things like this happen.'

She also revealed the boys' father was working when the alleged homicide occurred.

Silvia López, 48, was found already dead with neck injuries in a garage in northern Spain

Carmen Merino was arrested in September 2019 in the coastal town of Castro Urdiales after her husband's decapitated head was found in a box she had given a neighbour to look after claiming it contained sex toys she didn't want her partner to find. 

The 64-year-old told the neighbour she had put her sex aids inside a bag in the box because she thought police could search her home for missing Jesus Maria Baranda and she felt embarrassed they would find them.

She was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December 2022 after being convicted of killing the retired bank worker following a fortnight-long jury trial at a court in Santander.

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