Woman's Body in Spain May Be Missing US Hiker

Arizona's Denise Thiem disappeared while on a pilgrimage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2015 11:18 AM CDT
In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, hikers walk along the route known as the St. James Way near the Pyrenees town of Roncesvalles, northern Spain.   (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)

(Newser) – The mysterious disappearance of an Arizona woman hiking a world-famous trail in Spain appears to have been solved, but in the worst possible way. Authorities there arrested a 39-year-old man and found a body on his property believed to be that of 41-year-old Denise Thiem, reports the AP. Tests to confirm are pending. Thiem went missing in April while walking the St. James Way, also known as the Camino de Santiago. The suspect, Miguel Angel Munoz, has a small farm in Asturias near the trail, which leads to a cathedral believed to house the remains of St. James the Apostle. Thousands of hikers from around the world make the pilgrimage each year, one that was popularized in the 2010 Martin Sheen movie The Way.

Thiem, who was widely traveled, had quit her job working in PetSmart's corporate headquarters in Phoenix to make the hike herself, reports the Arizona Republic. She began in Pamplona in March and planned to finish in about 90 days. All was going well until she disappeared on Easter Sunday. Spain's interior minister says the remains "effectively appear to be those of Denise," adding that the suspect "was little-known in his own neighborhood and did not relate much to society." He reportedly led police to the body, reports ABC News.

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