A SUSPECTED rapist and murderer caught 18 years after the crime has been found hanging in his prison cell.
Ahmed Chelb, 52, originally from Morocco but with Spanish nationality is believed to have sexually assaulted and killed 16-year-old Eva Blanco (pictured) in 1997 when she was walking alone along a street in the Alchete area of the Greater Madrid region.
Her body was found in a ditch on a roundabout near the Cobeña road, in an area known as Las Pesqueras, with clear signs of violence, but it took until 2015 to resolve the case.
DNA was taken from everyone in her town and compared with samples already held on police files.
One of those required for testing had left the area, so a family member provided a sample instead.
The accused had left Spain altogether two years after Eva's murder and was arrested last year in Pierrefontaine-les-Varans, in France.
He appeared before a judge a fortnight ago, and denied having assaulted and murdered the teenager.
According to Chelb, he was dragged into a car at knifepoint by two men and was ordered, on pain of death, to ejaculate on the youngster who was tied up inside the vehicle – presumably to cover the real killers' tracks.
This unlikely scenario was still under investigation, and Chelb was facing life imprisonment.
He had been held in custody whilst inquiries continued.
But he was found dead in his cell earlier this week, having hanged himself with his shoelaces.
The accused had been on suicide watch initially, but medical reports showed he was no longer a risk and the procedure was lifted.
However, he shared a cell with another prisoner trained in suicide and self-harm prevention.
In light of this, jail authorities have called for a full investigation into his death.
Eva Blanco's father says the accused has 'incriminated and sentenced himself'.
It is likely the case will now be archived, since it was believed that the killer had been found.