“We can’t say goodbye”

“We can’t say goodbye”

BarcelonaThe last time Carmi spoke to her son Paul was two years, seven months and nine days ago. It was a simple WhatsApp message that she still believes Paul did not write. They were talking about a washing machine, and his son’s dry, simple “yes” answer was not typical of him. “It was very winding,” he says. She suspects that he was already dead by then, and that he had already been killed. When the Mossos d’Esquadra arrived at that isolated house in Les Borges Blanques (les Garrigues) they found a pool of blood and a bed full of red spots. This blood belongs to Paul Cugat, who is only 25 years old. He was killed with pruning shears that were still near the crime scene. But there was no body. After 955 days, he still has not appeared.

“We can’t say goodbye, we can’t close the circle,” Carmi laments. That’s why he appeals to collective memory and asks everyone in the area to look at the photo of the pole and try to remember whether they saw it and under what circumstances. “You can’t explain what it’s like to lose a child,” he continues. Carmi explains that the family is united despite being “so lonely.” They had to fend for themselves, first organizing raids themselves to find Paul’s body and then finding psychological support to deal with it. The wound remains open, even more so because they were not able to mourn or say goodbye to their son for the last time. He has one last hope in Paul’s cell phone, the one that sent a message he is not believed to have written. It has not been located yet and they are trying to get Google to make it easier to locate. Court applications are being sent to Ireland with no luck so far. “If we found the phone and not the body, we wouldn’t know where to shoot,” he says.

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Her son’s crime remains unsolved, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any suspects. A year ago, this newspaper gained access to a summary of the case and reconstructed the murder of Paul Cugat. Carmi reiterates that her son was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The place was a house hiding a marijuana farm. He, a Pole, was responsible for monitoring her for a few months. The moment was October 21, 2021, the day when the grass had already been peeled and all that remained was to start moving it. In this context, someone killed the Pole. the reason? It was almost his last day at that job, which he had taken to earn a few euros and be able to live with a friend in Col di Narjo, near the mountains he loved to climb. But he was having difficulty getting his salary, and he told his family and some friends about it. The fateful October 21 was the day he was to collect his salary. The mother remembers that they wanted to help him financially, but he did not allow them to do so.

Investigation

In total, seven people have been investigated for Paul’s murder, and the judicial investigation is still ongoing. Their names are Artemio, Nestor, Carles, Jose Maria, Aniol, Xavier and Albert. All of them, in varying ranks, were part of the gang that trafficked marijuana and even had Italian connections. There are seven of them, but all focus on Albert. Several pieces of evidence point to him, but nothing is conclusive: he last drove Paul’s car, next to the mattress is a water bottle with his fingerprint on it, at home they found his gym bracelet, and in his car are the keys to the farm as well as traces of the victim’s blood on the pedals. Additionally, the phone’s placement doesn’t rule anything out: His cell phone was off all Friday morning. All this is in addition to the fact that he remained on the run in Rome for eight months and then went to pretrial detention, although he was released in the end.

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The account of those investigated was that they found Paul’s body and agreed to go to the police station the next day to explain the matter. Albert was supposed to go too, but he ran away. Artemio, Nestor, and Carles ended up going there and accompanied the police to the house. But the body is no longer there. No one forced the door. The only clear clue to the whereabouts of Paul’s body is the last call from his cell phone, located in the nearby town of Castelldans. But so far no search has been able to find him.

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