• Trial The defendant of the Lardero crime says he remembers everything as a "cloud" and alleges that the child acted "voluntarily"
  • Events Lardero relives the nightmare six months later: the Civil Guard takes a child predator off the street

"He ran in: 'Dad, dad, a man is taking Alex.'" This is how a friend of Álex's parents told this Tuesday how they discovered that their son, 9 years old, had allegedly been kidnapped by Francisco Javier Almeida while celebrating Halloween having dinner in a picnic area in the Plaza de Entre Ríos, in Lardero (Logroño), on October 28, 2021.

The man, who testified in the second session of the trial of the so-called crime of the child of Lardero, explained that it was his four-year-old daughter who gave them the alert. According to the girl, Almeida first tried to take her, but the girl refused to leave with him. "We went out to the race to the passage, we crossed to the passage and we did not see Alex or anything," said this friend how were the first moments of anguish after the disappearance.

The lieutenant of the Civil Guard in charge of the investigation, who also testified on Tuesday, explained that, based on the testimonies collected from the four minors who witnessed what happened, Almeida got the child to accompany him home through an argument: "He deceives him and convinces him to voluntarily follow him, thinking the minor, Deceived, that he is going to go to his house to see a pet, a puppy."

According to the reconstruction of the facts made by the agents, Almeida – who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of a real estate agent in 1998 and released on parole in April 2020 without having served the entire sentence – went that afternoon to the park where Alex was playing with his friends with the sole intention of looking for a victim.

The images taken by the elevator camera of his building indicate that he went out to the street at 20.07 hours. "He sits on a bench, to what? To observe, he is selecting his victim. The victim is chosen randomly, the most vulnerable. Once you select it. He goes to her and convinces her, with a language understandable to a minor, and gets her to accompany him", explained the aforementioned command. Once in the building, very close to the park, he added, Almeida gave him instructions to go up the stairs thus avoiding the elevator, where they could cross with neighbors or be recorded by the cameras.

The person in charge of the investigation also detailed how Alex died, the hardest part of his story and shows the cruelty with which Almeida, 55, allegedly acted today. Investigators found traces of the boy's blood on Almeida's pants and left sneaker. They also found genetic material of the alleged aggressor in eight of the 10 nails of the minor as well as biological remains of Almeida in the underpants of the child and vice versa: biological remains of Alex in the underpants of Almeida.

The boy, experts ruled, was alive when he was sexually assaulted. "When the minor arrives at the house, the defendant directs him to the bedroom. It shows that we found there the three hairs of the wig [the boy was disguised as The Exorcist's Girl] and because one of the two pants that the child was wearing, "explained the lieutenant.

Once in the bedroom, the defendant immobilized him and proceeded to "perform a sexual oral assault on the minor." "Semen is found inside the mouth, as well as in the area between the eyebrows and on the left cheek," added the researcher. "From there, we consider that death comes, which is by strangulation. We consider it from behind, with one arm strangles him."

The boy, the agent stressed, had no possibility of defense, because of the obvious physical difference with respect to his aggressor and the space where he was, without the possibility of fleeing. "He has no defense capacity since he enters, since he is in an isolated, unknown scenario and alone with the aggressor. He was completely at the mercy of the defendant." After sharpening it, Almeida dressed the child hastily, hence he left one of the two pants that Alex was wearing in the room.

"In your opinion, was it an extremely violent death?, -asked the lawyer of the private prosecution Alicia Redondo, who, like the prosecutor, asks for Almeida permanent prison reviewable for murder and 15 years in prison for sexual assault.

"Yes," replied the lieutenant of the Civil Guard.

And an extremely violent sexual assault?

- Even more.

Also the members of the jury transferred a couple of questions to the lieutenant of the Civil Guard

-From your point of view, as head of investigation and from your professional experience and specialist in crimes against people, did you ever see signs of emotional affectation or regret in the conduct of the accused? -asked one of them.

"None," replied the lieutenant forcefully.

According to The Trust Project criteria

Learn more

  • Civil Guard
  • Lardero
  • Logroño