Belfast Telegraph

Carter Carson death probe Tenerife police say investigation well-advanced

By Karl McLoughlin

Police investigating the hit-and-run death of a Northern Ireland boy in Tenerife say they have gathered "abundant evidence".

Carter Carson (9), from Newtownabbey Co Antrim, died after being struck by a car near the Gran Sur shopping centre in Adeje last Thursday.

He was with dad Stuart and his partner Clair on the Spanish holiday island when the incident happened.

The family are still waiting for permission to bring Carter's body home.

In a Press conference in Tenerife yesterday, Commissioner Carlos Ludena and sub-inspector Victor Secades provided information on the investigation that led to the arrest of two suspects.

The pair, aged 39 and 34 and of Latvian nationality, were due to appear before a judge in Arona last night.

One of the two - who were described by police as "construction workers" - had recently arrived in Tenerife, while the other had lived on the island for some time.

Police said the suspects initially admitted they had been driving the car at the time but later refused to give a formal statement while in custody.

Commissioner Ludena praised officers at the Playa de Las Americas police station for "working against time and in the face of intense pressure" to trace the occupants of a red car that sped away from the scene.

He said: "We have completed the primary focus of our investigation, which was to locate the vehicle and the person driving it.

"The abundant evidence gathered has been passed on to the court and it is now up to the judge to decide on the next course of action. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on certain specific aspects at this stage."

Commissioner Ludena described the "extreme difficulties" encountered by police in seeking to establish the identity of the occupants of the car.

He said: "The vehicle, an old Alfa Romeo, had changed hands within the Eastern European community on the island.

"We spoke to the last owner for whom details existed, but it emerged that he had sold it four years ago for just €250 (£220).

"Clearly, he was unable to tell us anything about who had the vehicle now". Following a public appeal for information on the vehicle the damaged Alfa Romeo was photographed by an off-duty police officer parked at a roadside near the scene of the hit-and-run. It was later moved to a covered parking space "linked to the owner and some distance away", where it was recovered by police and taken for forensic tests. Earlier this week Carter's mum Carlene O'Connor paid tribute to her "smart, fun-loving" little boy.

She said: "On Thursday I got the unthinkable phone call that every parent dreads, telling me that my beautiful son had been involved in a tragic accident while on holiday with his dad and family.

"My heart sank. I didn't want to believe what I was hearing."

She added: "My world instantly fell apart.

"To think that my baby boy had gained his angel wings - just as his wee life was really beginning.

"There are just no words to describe this horrific tragedy."

Belfast Telegraph

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