SPANISH police are on the hunt for a man dubbed The Orchard Killer, believed to have murdered three farmers in less than two months.
All of his alleged victims were found in their own fields beaten and with knife wounds during the morning.
Jose Luis Aguado, 80, was allegedly found stabbed to death on December 21[/caption]
The body of Ramon Rosell, 84, was discovered by his wife in a field of olive trees last month[/caption]
is alleged to have murdered three elderly men between November last year and January in northern Spain‘s Navarra and Lleida regions.
Each of the victims – named by local media asOyon, 68; Jose Luis Aguado, 80; and Ramon Rosell, 84 – was attacked while working alone in a field.
Oyon, allegedly the killer’s first victim, was reported missing by his wife on November 22 when he failed to return home from picking olives on the outskirts of Tudela in Navarra.
Tragically, he was found stabbed to death in an olive grove.
Almost exactly a month later, on December 21, Aguado was found stabbed to death – with deep cuts to his head and the back of his skull – on a farm in Ribaforada, also in Navarra.
Aguado’s car, a red Opel Corsa, was later discovered at the scene of the third murder, which indicated to investigators that both crimes may be connected.
The third alleged victim, Rosell, was found stabbed and beaten to death in a field of olive trees in Vilanova de la Barca, Lleida, in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region, 200km from the first two murders.
He had left his home to prune fruit trees on January 5 but did not return at mealtime as he was expected to.
Rosell’s wife discovered his body when she went to the farm in search of her missing husband, La Vanguardia reports.
It is alleged the suspect left the second victim’s Opel Corsa at the scene of the third crime before stealing Rosell’s car and taking it to France, where it was later found burnt out.
All three crimes are alleged to have been committed during the morning and against a farmer who was alone in their field – always far from town.
The identity of the murder suspect has not been made public, but he has been described as a “strong man” with “dark skin”.
Local media reports he may have fled in the direction of Andorra and crossed into France, successfully evading capture at a Mossos d’Esquadra Spanish police checkpoint.
The suspect’s last known location was near the French border.
People used to go to the fields calm, but not anymore
CCTV footage reportedly showed him driving through La Farge de Moles, in Valles del Valira, before crossing into France in Pas de la Casa less than hour later.
From there, it is unclear where he may have gone.
One local told Spanish news outlet 20minutos: “It’s a very strange thing, to kill a person with fury without stealing anything from them.
Another said: “People used to go to the fields calm, but not anymore.”
Spanish and French authorities are now working together to track him down as forensic experts examine the evidence and DNA at all three crime scenes as well as the burnt-out vehicle.
All three alleged murder victims were found dead in a field[/caption]
They were all elderly men who were out working alone[/caption]
The suspect is believed to have successfully evaded capture at a Mossos d’Esquadra checkpoint[/caption]