Brit shot dead in Spain villa is ex-model who could be 'knocked over by feather'

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A British pensioner who was shot dead in her Costa Blanca villa was an ex-model who could be “knocked over by a feather”, it has been claimed.

It comes as a woman and her teenage son are being quizzed over the murder.

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Shocked neighbour Alan Benson, 70, said the 81-year-old, named locally as Monica Warren, had lived in the spacious gated £350,000 home for around 20 years.

Her body is understood to have been found under her bed.

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A plumber the expat had called to her house for an emergency repair dialled 999 after seeing two people leave the property and speed away in a black Peugeot as he arrived, having failed to raise Mrs Warren.

The Brit is thought to have moved from London to the small village near Elche, not far from Alicante, with her late husband John, whose ashes are buried under a pyramid in the garden.

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Alan said Monica, who he believed had worked as a model in London and originated from Europe before marrying a Brit.

She was very “worried about Covid” and had previously expressed fears about delivery men “casing her home”, Alan claimed.

Brit shot dead in spain villa is ex-model who could be 'knocked over by feather'

Alan said Monica, was very 'worried about Covid' ( Image: Humphrey Nemar)

He told the Mirror: “The village has had a problem with robberies in the past few years.

“About a third of the houses on this estate have been robbed in the last four years. When they rob your house they completely destroy it inside.

“She was tall but she was incredibly thin. You could knock her over with a feather – I just don’t understand why they did it.

“That element of violence is just terrible.”

The mum, 46, and her son, 16, were arrested on Thursday after the elderly victim was found dead in her villa, having been shot three times at close range with a .22 calibre pistol.

The pair are being grilled by detectives ahead of appearances in separate courts.

Brit shot dead in spain villa is ex-model who could be 'knocked over by feather'

Detectives have revealed they are working on the basis that the killing was not the result of a bungled burglary ( Image: Humphrey Nemar)

Detectives have revealed they are working on the basis that the killing was not the result of a bungled burglary as the suspects appear to have known the victim.

A spokesman for Spanish National Police said: “Although the motive is not yet known and the investigators are currently working on establishing it, the hypothesis this was a fortuitous robbery has been ruled out based on the fact that the victim and the detainees appeared to know each other.”

Police also said they suspected the mum – who enjoys target shooting and has a gun licence – could have shot the victim, while her son may have helped to move the body and try to destroy evidence.

The police spokesman added: “The body of the victim appears to have been moved from the place where she was shot to the place where she was found dead.”

Brit shot dead in spain villa is ex-model who could be 'knocked over by feather'

Spanish National Police said 'the motive is not yet known' but the victim and detainers 'appeared to know each other' ( Image: Humphrey Nemar)

Detectives have also confirmed a vehicle set alight in Alicante following the murder matches a car seen leaving the British woman’s house on Wednesday.

The police spokesman said: “The female suspect, owner of the car that was gutted, practices target shooting as a hobby, has a licence and has a pistol registered in her name which is the same model and calibre as that found by detectives during an inspection of the house.

“The woman had reported the car as stolen the day after the discovery of the victim’s body, saying her .22 Beretta had disappeared from the vehicle before that.”

Brit shot dead in spain villa is ex-model who could be 'knocked over by feather'

Police discovered Monica’s body inside the property around 7pm on Wednesday after forcing entry ( Image: Humphrey Nemar)

Police discovered Monica’s body inside the property around 7pm on Wednesday after forcing entry.

In comments on the arrests, a spokesman for SNP went on to say: “The suspected authors of the homicide are a 46-year-old woman and her 16-year-old son. They are both Spanish.

“Neither has a criminal record.

“The weapon used to shoot the victim dead was found during a painstaking search of the place where her body was found and the area immediately around it.”

Detectives have until Sunday to hold the pair in custody before handing them over to a judge for further questioning.

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