Police investigating the disappearance of British killer whale trainer Amy Gerard in Tenerife say they are keeping “all lines of inquiry” open.
A post-mortem is set to take place today after a woman’s body was pulled out of the sea yesterday, although investigators said official identification may take longer because of the need for DNA tests.
But police insisted ahead of the autopsy at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in the island capital Santa Cruz that they were still keeping an open mind about the cause of death.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said this morning: “The autopsy will take place this morning and the only way of identifying the dead woman may be by DNA because of the condition the body was in after it was recovered from the sea.
“There has been no official identification at this stage.
“Until the police investigation is complete, no information will be given out about the cause of death.”
A police source said all lines on inquiry remain open including gender violence, accidental death, a violent crime such as a mugging or suicide.
A Spanish-language paper in Tenerife claimed overnight police had identified the dead woman as Amy, 28.
But court sources said the investigating judge in charge of the judicial inquiry opened as a result of the discovery of the body, had yet to receive the police report.
Court of First Instance and Instruction Number Two in the northern city of Puerto de La Cruz is the court which is currently in charge of the case, as it was the duty court that was operating when Red Cross workers retrieved the body yesterday morning morning after it was spotted floating in the sea by a police helicopter.
An official said this morning: “The investigating judge who is dealing with this matter has yet to receive a report about the identification of the body.
“Officials are aware an island newspaper has said the body is that of the British woman who had been reported missing but it’s not something the courts can confirm at this stage.”
University-educated Amy, originally from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, disappeared shortly after midnight last Thursday after leaving Molly Malone pub in Puerto de la Cruz where she had been at a friend’s birthday.
She was filmed just before she vanished looking happy and relaxed as she danced in a circle alongside German boyfriend Dennis Kissling to the Pogues song Fairytale of New York.
Amy and Dennis, colleagues at Tenerife marine theme park Loro Parque, went their separate ways after leaving the pub.
Mum Julie, 59, and sister Chloe, 30, flew to Tenerife with Chloe’s fiancé after learning of her disappearance.
The Lucie Blackman Trust, set up by the family of Lucie Blackman after she was killed in Tokyo by a millionaire Japanese businessman, also revealed it was assisting Amy’s loved ones.
Her disappearance was described as totally “out of character” by family and friends, with work colleagues insisting she had given no indication anything might be worrying her.
Police were also told Amy, who was estranged from her personal trainer husband Ryan Docherty who is currently back in the UK, was not a big drinker and had not looked inebriated or tipsy when she left the pub.
The spot where Amy was found is thought to be along the route she would have taken to walk back to her home near Loro Parque from Molly Malone.
Although the message from police is that all lines of inquiry are still open, it is understood the theory Amy ended up in the sea by accident is top of their list of theories ahead of the post-mortem.
A Spanish friend wrote on Facebook: “Many of us are aware of what is happening in the case.
“Her death has already been confirmed in some sectors of the media, although the DNA tests have not been revealed yet.
“When the worst is confirmed, her family will do what they feel is best with that information.”
Another urged: “If it is confirmed that Amy has been found, I believe her family should be allowed time to share this news amongst themselves in a respectful and dignified manner.
“The rest of us can find out when they decide to release any information appropriately.”