The body of a woman has been discovered on a beach in Marbella, near the spot where missing mum-of-two Rebecca Muldoon was last seen on January 2.
Spanish police confirmed this morning the body found on a beach appeared to be that of Mrs Muldoon but said the dead woman had yet to be identified officially.
A local walking along the sand at Oasis Beach, near Victor’s Beach Bar which is popular with holidaymakers and expats, alerted emergency services just after 9am this morning.
Police sources have told local media they believe it could be missing Rebecca, 35, originally from Southend, Essex, because of the clothes the dead woman was wearing and her physical characteristics.
Rebecca Muldoon, 35, went missing on the same day she was due to appear in court in relation to domestic abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her partner
The housewife vanished from her penthouse flat in an area of Marbella called Camino del PInar, about three miles from the spot where the woman’s body was found, after police arrested her husband Paul on suspicion of domestic violence.
She spent most of the evening of January 1 at a local police station after officers called by a neighbour who heard shouting and screaming held Mr Muldoon and locked him up in cells ahead of a court appearance.
She declined to press charges at the police station and failed to attend a court summons a day after she was last seen where she was set to be asked to give evidence against her partner at a speedy trial.
Her two children, aged eight and 11, are now back in the UK with their grandmother after Rebecca’s distressed loved ones took a call saying she had gone missing and the youngsters were about to be taken into care and they flew out to the Costa del Sol to pick them up.
Spanish police confirmed this morning the body found on a beach appeared to be that of Mrs Muldoon but said the dead woman had yet to be identified officially
Officials have confirmed Mr Muldoon, who Rebecca met in the UK and married in the States after moving to Los Angeles briefly before her return to Europe, was in custody when she went missing.
He is believed to be still under formal investigation on suspicion of domestic violence – but was released after the court no-show by his wife and told only that he must attend court for further questioning as and when required. He could not be reached for comment today.
Earlier this week police and Civil Protection workers searched a river bed and hillside near Rebecca’s home after a police helicopter flew over woods and shrubland between Marbella and the mountains behind it.
Rebecca’s brother Tyler, 21, who lives in Colchester, Essex, and was among the relatives who flew out to Spain to pick up his sister’s children, said earlier this week: ‘We are obviously extremely worried.
The housewife vanished from her penthouse flat in an area of Marbella called Camino del PInar, about three miles from the spot where the woman’s body was found after a search was conducted by Spanish Police and Civil protection units
‘Rebecca vanished without money, passport or clothes and her mobile is dead.
‘We would just like her to know if she does read the appeals for information about her that the children are safe and that she should contact them and that if she needs help, we can help her.’
It is understood the body was badly decomposed after days in the sea, although there is nothing at this stage to indicate her death was the result of a crime.
An autopsy is due to take place tomorrow.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: ‘The body of a woman has been discovered on Oasis Beach in Marbella.
‘A woman who happened to be walking by alerted the authorities.’
Rebecca – originally from Southend – has been living in Marbella for the last year
A well-placed source added: ‘In principle the physical characteristics of the woman discovered match those of the British woman police were looking for who disappeared on January 2 in Marbella, although she hasn’t yet been officially identified.
‘An autopsy will now take place to determine the cause of death, but there no signs of external violence.’
Local reports said police were alerted by a neighbour who discovered the youngsters were alone in the property, although it is believed the person that called the cops was someone who had been left temporarily in charge of the youngsters and grew concerned when the missing Briton failed to return.
Friend Stephanie Faye Dalrymple previously appealed for information on her whereabouts in a Facebook, saying: ‘Rebecca has been missing for a week. She has no money, passport or clothes and her phone is dead.
‘She has two children and I desperately need to know if anyone has seen her.
‘If you live in Marbella please share this. Her family are so worried and any info at all would be gratefully received.’