Thirty years after the disappearance of the Aguilar girls: all unknowns in the case

That of Virginia Guerrero and Manuela Torres, two girls from Aguilar de Campo, who disappeared on April 23, 1992, when they were returning home from Reynosa, is another of the most mysterious cases of disappearances that have occurred in recent decades in Spain.

Then, almost thirty years ago, countless calls from people claiming to have seen them in various parts of the country, including France, where Interpol opened some lines of inquiry to no avail.

The leads died down after that April 23, 1992, but the disappearance of the two teenagers continues to generate countless questions that usually lead to the easiest: what happened to them? How is it possible that there weren’t more clues to follow at the start of the investigation?

The Court of First Instance and Instruction Number 2 of Cervera de Pisuerga, which dealt with the case, decided to reopen it last June after the declaration to the Civil Guard of a woman who, in 1991 and also together with a friend, both also minors at the time, they got into a white Seat 127 in the area of ​​influence of the disappearance of the two Aguilar girls. The young man who stopped them when they were waiting for a taxi to go home and offered to give them a lift in his car was diverted from the destination and she had to grab the steering wheel to turn into the ditch and escape the vehicle. The judge lifted this week, seven months later, the secrecy of the summary and questions surrounding that suspect. Will he be found and evidence taken? Is your phone tapped?

April 23, 1992

Two girls from Aguilar de Campoo, Virginia Guerrero Espejo and Manuela Torres Bugefa, 14 and 13 years old respectively, decided to spend the festive afternoon of Castile and Leon Day in Reynosa. After some time in this city, it was time to return. On the road, a white car stopped in front of the girls while they were hitchhiking and picked them up. Since then, no one has seen them again or heard anything about their whereabouts.

Between 1992 and 1995

Every time the photo of Virginia and Manuela reappeared in a television program, the summary given in court number 2 of Cervera de Pisuerga increased by several pages. Calls from various points of national geography wanting to provide clues to his whereabouts were initially numerous and all were verified. Owners of white cars similar to the one that allegedly pulled them over were investigated, mountains were crossed and the Aguilar Swamp was traced.

In 1994

Some passers-by found two skulls in the Requejada reservoir, in Cervera de Pisuerga, which were immediately related to those of the two minors of Aguilar de Campoo. Forensic tests ruled out any connection to Manuela and Virginia as they belonged to two elderly women.

July 1997

The statement of a woman who claimed to have seen two young people on a Madrid bus, similar to the description that was revealed of Manuela and Virginia, gave the security forces the opportunity to draw a portrait of a robot that, taking into account the data provided by the woman for the two girls, could give a real picture of what they might be like six years later. The woman placed them next to a group of squatters, although this information could never be confirmed. However, thousands of posters were plastered all over the country with the image of the new robot, but no reliable evidence was collected.

December 10, 1998

The then-Secretary of State for Security, Ricardo Marti Fluxa, told the Senate Interior Committee that the case of the two Aguilar girls, who disappeared in April 1992, “has not been and will not be closed until it is resolved. Investigations are ongoing and security forces continue to make maximum efforts in the interest of their clarification. He also expressed his confidence that the robot’s portrait could speed up the results of investigations and pointed out that Interpol had kept some lines of inquiry open since 1993 that led to a European country, near Spain, possibly France.

Robot portraits taken by the Civil Guard.

December 18, 2006

Relatives of the two girls confirmed they have no plans to take further legal action or ask the judge in Cervera to reopen the investigation. Emilio Guerrero, Virginia’s brother and spokesman, issued a new call for the memory of the two girls to be respected and not to play with the hopes of the families.

October 12, 2017

The discovery of a jaw in the Ebro Dam, in Cantabria, which was recovered from land, has opened the way to a possible solution to the disappearance of two girls, now 25 years on. The bone was found by a man who handed it over to the Civil Guard, and that to the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 1 of Reynosa (Cantabria), which opened proceedings and requested a forensic report.

A jaw found in a swamp in La Población de Yuso (Cantabria) that turned the investigation upside down.

January 4, 2018

The report states that the skeletal remains found in the Cantabrian Ebro marsh are human in appearance and may belong to a teenager between the ages of 13 and 16 who died around 25 years ago. After this report, the head of the court Reinosa requested DNA tests from the National Institute of Toxicology in Madrid and to compare the remains with the database of the Fénix program, which collects genetic samples of missing people.

February 1, 2018

The Civil Guard and the head of the court of first instance and instructions in Reynosa confirmed that the DNA did not match the records of the missing in the Phoenix program and that therefore the jaw found in the Ebro swamp did not belong to Virginia and not to Manuela. The families of Manuela Torres and Virginia Guerrero made public the pain caused by the leak of the forensic report of the jaw that appeared in the Ebro Dam. In this document, some data appeared that opened the door to a possible connection to the case. Emilio Guerrero expressed his outrage at the “unnecessary suffering” caused by the leak and speculation about the origin of the bone discovered on October 12, 2017.

June 21, 2021

The Court of First Instance and Instruction number 2 of Cervera decided to reopen the case after the declaration to the Civil Guard of a woman who in 1991 and also together with a friend, both then minors, got into Seat 127 of a colored target in the area of ​​influence of the disappearance of the two Aguilar girls. This woman assured that the young man who stopped them when they were waiting for a taxi to go home and offered to take them in his car was diverted from the destination and she had to take the wheel to turn into the ditch and be able to let the vehicle run. They were 15 years old and ran away from home.

October 2021

Court number 2 of Cervera, which decreed the short-term secrecy on September 14, decided to extend it by another month, until November 15. “It’s very difficult, but if it’s decided to reopen the case, it’s because they think there might be something.” We have to be very cautious, although this is a small glimmer of hope. During these years, I know stories of missing people who have appeared 35 years later, “he pointed out when the reopening of the case was ordered Emilio Guerrero, Virginia’s brother.

December 14, 2021

Court number 2 of Cervera, which in October already extended until November 15, and on that date until December 13, the secrecy of the summary of the case, issued an order in which it agreed to extend for another month that the investigations remain secret .. on the case of Virginia Guerrero Espejo and Manuela Torres Bugefa. But with a caveat: this brief secret is extended to all parties except the prosecution.

January 2022

A judge extended for the fourth time a shortened secrecy order in the case of the missing Aguilar girls, so the proceedings remained secret for another month except for the prosecution. “The investigation by the court about the line of inquiry that appeared in 2021 is still open, they are pulling the strings in different ways, we don’t know anything at the moment,” said Ramon Chipiras, a criminologist and spokesman for the families of the missing girls, and Carmen Balfagon, lawyer for both families.

February 14, 2022

The judge agreed to extend the secrecy of the proceedings another twenty days for all parties except the prosecutor in the case of the two Aguilar girls, who disappeared in 1992 while returning from a party in Reynosa. It was the fifth extension of abbreviated secrecy, after those agreed in October, November, December and January, in the first two extensions, which included the Ministry of Public Affairs.

March 7, 2022

The trial court and Cervera’s Instruction No. 2 agreed to declassify the proceedings in the case of the two Aguilar girls, who disappeared in 1992 while returning from a party in Reynosa. “We will not make a statement until we receive all the court documents and study them,” Ramon Chipiras, a criminologist and spokesman for the families of the missing girls, said Tuesday.

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