Woman Allegedly Strangles Eight-Year-Old Stepson, Claims 'Self-Defense,' Body Found In Car Trunk

A woman has admitted to murdering her eight-year-old stepson, but she is claiming it was self-defense. Gabriel Cruz's disappearance from a Spanish village sparked a massive search with his stepmother, Ana Quezada leading the charge. The young boy was last seen on his way to a friend's house, after leaving his grandmother's residence, when he was reported missing.

The Daily Mail is reporting that 43-year-old Ana confessed to the crime after Gabriel's body was found in her car trunk. Quezada owned up to the atrocity, but claimed she had acted in self-defense. According to her, Gabriel attacked her with an ax after a disagreement. She told investigators that she fought back and hit the boy with the ax handle which left him unconscious. She then said, she strangled him in a state of panic and hid his body.

Gabriel was missing for 12 days before his body was discovered in the trunk of his stepmom's car. Quezada deceptively cut a forlorn figure of a woman desperate to find a loved one. She was always clad in a T-shirt embossed with Gabriel's smiling face. The Sun is reporting that the stepmom painted the perfect picture of deceit, by giving a slew of tearful interviews and pleading with the public to help find the missing boy.

A police spokesman speaking to El Pais disclosed that they knew the 43-year-old woman was involved, but decided to keep it from Gabriel's father and biological mother. The spokesman said a "key moment" cropped up when Quezada found Gabriel's shirt in a remote area, miles away from where he was last seen.

According to him, she was the one who had suggested that the volunteers comb the area and coincidentally, she was the one that came up with the item of clothing. The officer who described Ana as "incredibly cold, possessive and egocentric," said it was a well-hatched plan of the Dominican woman to innocently reel in an ex-boyfriend who lived in the area.

From that moment on, the 43-year-old was put under strict surveillance by police and was eventually arrested when she unearthed Gabriel's body and was trying to move it to a different location. An autopsy report showed that Gabriel had been strangled, the same day he was declared missing on February 27.

Over 3,000 people turned up for the funeral of Gabriel, nicknamed, "The Little Fish" because of his love for the sea. Thousands signed an online petition asking for Quezada to be sent back to her home country, arguing that she would find it too easy in the "comfort of Spanish jails."

In the aftermath of Gabriel's death, forensic investigators are now reopening a cold case that involved the death of Quezada's four-year-old daughter. A Euro Weekly News story is saying that the incident took place in March 1996 when a 21-year-old Ana was still resident in the Dominican Republic. Her daughter had fallen to her death from the seventh floor of a residential building.