Antonio Caba, the intermediary suspected of the disappearance of two businessmen in Manzanares, is silent. Since last Tuesday afternoon he was arrested after finding skeletal remains in the well of a farm he owned, he has not said a word.
Investigators have come across a rocky and "cold" man, permanently accompanied by his lawyer and determined not to collaborate. At least for now. Caba, known in the area as "the trafficker", has always followed the same line in the eight months in which he has been under the magnifying glass of the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard. He has never lost his composure.
Nor did he do so when late Tuesday afternoon, the agents located the skeletal remains inside the well on his farm. "He remained impassive," say sources close to the investigation. The UCO agents are practically convinced that the bones correspond to Juan Manuel Isla, the industrialist who disappeared last July after collecting 50,000 euros from the sale of a farm in which Caba had been an intermediary. He was the last person to see him alive.
The discovery of the human bones, on which the civil guards had been working in recent days, put the finishing touch on what was dubbed the Mancanti operation (those who are missing in Italian) after some intense and complicated months. In identical circumstances, Jesús González, another businessman in the area, disappeared in 2019 after selling two high-end cars for 28,000 euros. Caba mediated in the operation.
Investigators are concentrating on solving Isla's disappearance, although the discovery of human remains may mean a new starting point in González's disappearance. Given Caba's secrecy, the agents trust that the second detainee, a 74-year-old friend of his, can bring them closer to the circumstances of Isla's disappearance.
Investigators proceeded yesterday to search the homes of both arrested in search of any clues. The investigations were intensified at the end of last January when the agents managed to find the Renault Clio vehicle with which Juan Manuel Isla had traveled from Playa de San Juan (Alicante) where he lived, to Manzanares to close the economic operation for the sale of land inherited from his family.
The vehicle appeared parked in an open field in Albacete. It didn't take long for officers to realize that Isla never drove the vehicle there. It was a neighbor who gave the notice after recognizing the car after spreading, days before, the investigators some images of the vehicle in search of citizen collaboration. Finding it was key.
Agents from the Central Eye Inspections Team (ECIO) of the Criminalistics Service of the Armed Institute have been analyzing it for clues all this time. The finding was the acceleration they needed.
In recent weeks - in which there has even been a reconstruction of the route between the point where the businessman disappeared and the waste ground where the car was found in Albacete - the clues collected led the agents to the well of that farm.
The Underwater Activities Group, whose divers have gone down into the well on two occasions to recover the skeletal remains, the Citizen Security Unit (Usecic) and Criminalistics, members of the Central Team of Ocular Inspections (ECIO) have participated in the search efforts. , agents of the Mountain Service and also members of the Judicial Police of the Ciudad Real Command. On Tuesday afternoon, a camera located the human remains at the bottom of the well. Yesterday, the agents continued combing the area in search of more evidence against the suspect.
The businessman Juan Manuel Isla disappeared on July 21, 2022 and, according to the investigations, the last person who could have seen him alive was Antonio Caba after helping him collect 50,000 euros from the sale of a farm. The industrialist disappeared after making an appointment with him.
Isla had traveled to Manzanares the afternoon before her disappearance from Playa de San Juan, in Alicante, where she lived with her partner to collect money for a piece of land that she had just sold. In recent weeks, he had been in "close" and permanent contact with Caba. The intermediary designed the operation, according to the same sources consulted. Isla trusted him.
On the day of the purchase, both men had met him in the municipality of La Solana. Later, the trail of Isla was lost. Caba, according to sources close to the case, is well known in the area for being the common link between buyers and sellers of houses, land, cars and weapons.
It has not yet been revealed when it will go to court, although the sources consulted by this newspaper specify that, in principle, the intention of the investigators is to exhaust the 72 hours provided by law before putting Caba before a judge. The procedure is directed by the Court of Instruction number 2 of Manzanares, whose owner has decreed the secrecy of the proceedings.
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