Body found in Spain may be missing AZ woman
MADRID (AP/KSAZ) -- A body found on a rural property in northwest Spain is most likely that of an Arizona woman who went missing while walking along a pilgrimage route, officials said Saturday.
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said evidence pointed to the remains being those of Denise Thiem and there were "well-founded suspicions" that the 39-year-old prime suspect arrested over her disappearance was responsible for her death.
A ministry spokesman had earlier said Miguel Angel Munoz had led investigators to his small farm near the Camino de Santiago, also called the St. James Way, after being arrested Friday in Asturias, 200 kilometers (124 miles) to the north.
The remains found at the property "effectively appear to those of Denise," Fernandez Diaz told reporters.
The minister said Munoz had been arrested when a police operation found him in the town of Grandas de Salime in the province of Asturias where he had fled.
Thiem, 41, of Arizona, was last seen April 5 walking along the route at the town of Astorga, 10 kilometers (6 miles) east of Santa Catalina de Somoza, which is also on the St. James Way and is the town closest to Munoz's farm, the ministry said.
The suspect was described by the ministry as a man who "was little-known in his own neighborhood and did not relate much to society."
Fernandez Diaz said the FBI had cooperated in the search, which at one point involved 300 police and military personnel as well as helicopters.
The Camino de Santiago has for centuries led pilgrims and tourists to the city of Santiago de Compostela at Spain's northwestern tip, where the cathedral is believed to house the bones of St. James, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.