Police in Bilbao, Spain — a port city on the country’s northern coast — have recently arrested a man in connection to the deaths of eight gay men in 2021.
According to information from Spanish News Today, from September through October 2021, 25-year-old Nelson David from Columbia allegedly used Grindr to meet with victims. Once inside their homes, David drugged his victims with “liquid ecstasy” (otherwise known as GHB) and “left them to die.”
Initially, none of these deaths were treated as suspicious, but in October 2021, the family of one of the victims came forward and stated that a large sum of money had been taken from his bank account after his death.
Pink News reported that—even though the victim had already been cremated—Bilbao law enforcement officials were able to detect “traces of the date rape drug GHB in his system.”
Authorities were able to identify David as the suspect after a survivor came forward and stated that someone he met off the dating app attempted to strangle him. The attacker left behind “a backpack containing identification documents and drugs, allowing police to identify a suspect.”
David freely turned himself into the police but still maintains his innocence.
While, for now, David is only being investigated for the deaths of the gay men in the Bilbao area, authorities believe that his spree against LGBTQ individuals could extend to other parts of Spain. Police are reportedly investigating the possibility that David may have committed other murders in the capital city of Madrid and the southeastern port city of Valencia.
Though rare, deadly attacks targeting the LGBTQ community aren’t unheard of in Spain. Last year, the brutal, homphobic murder of 24-year-old nurse Samuel Luiz in the northwestern port city A Coruña sparked a wave of protests across the country.
At that time, some LGBTQ activitists told El País, a daily newspaper in Spain, that Luiz’s death was a “wake up call” and that young people would no longer “accept any more” attacks against LGBTQ people. But a year later, LGBTQ people are still being targeted in violent attacks.
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