A woman, whose neighbour asked her to keep a box of vibrators, discovered that there was a decapitated human head inside. The woman, Spanish, under shock immediately called the police. That box had placed it in a closet months before, but then it started to smell bad. And so she decided to look: the discovery from horror movies.

The severed head seemed to have been boiled in water and wrapped in paper, perhaps to limit the leakage of odour, according to Antenna Public Mirror. Police in northern Spain arrested the original owner of the box, Maria del Carmen Merino, 61, in Castro Urdiales, Cantabria. It would seem that the severed head belonged to Jesus Maria Baranda, 67, his companion for seven years. A retired former bank employee since 2018, divorced with children. But the most gruesome thing is that the rest of the body is not found yet. Local media reported that the Merino had delivered the box to her friend who lives next door. Strangely, he would have told her that it was full of sex toys, which Baranda had left when he left.

But the neighbour only recently opened the box after noticing a pungent smell that spread from the wardrobe, where that box had been kept for six months. After the Merino was arrested, she told the policemen that someone had unloaded the box outside her front door and that initially she had kept it “because it was the only memory I had of him”.

The victim disappeared last February, but her family had not reported missing until March, according to local media. Both Baranda’s brother and Merino alerted the Spanish Civil Guard only later. The woman would tell the officers that her partner had left her money after leaving suddenly, without explanation.

Initially, the police thought he had left voluntarily, until they discovered that his bank accounts had not been touched, and Baranda had not brought the car with him. When investigators told the Merino that they were going to her house on April 10, to investigate her apartment, that same day she wrapped her partner’s severed head and placed it in a box covered with wrapping paper. Then he went to his friend’s house and gave her the box to keep, telling her that it was full of sex toys that Baranda had left behind. Her friend put the box in a closet in the guest room before removing it due to the smell.

Merino has been described as a “grumpy person who didn’t like children around her,” according to the Times. Asked about Baranda’s whereabouts, Merino said he contacted his partner via WhatsApp. But when the agents asked for her cell phone, she said that she had fallen into the toilet before adding “he left because he didn’t love me anymore”. La Vanguardia says that the Civil Guard’s Penal Guard unit is conducting tests to see if the head has been treated with chemicals.

After ending up in prison, Merino was accused of murder, reports El Pais. Investigators are looking for the rest of the body in the countryside belonging to the dead. One of his cousins, Carlos Ricondo, says: “We had hopes that he would return, but after so long, with no sign of life, we even thought he had committed suicide … and instead the terrible discovery.” Meanwhile, the neighbours that the woman gave the box no longer want to go back to that house.