The agent asked the young man’s mother, “Have you argued?” she asked. “Many times: clean your room, wash the dishes… Nothing beyond normal,” he replied. Madrid, 8 November 2017. Carmen, Police station National Police by user (Madrid) to file a disappearance complaint. His son’s name is David Hernando, he’s 27 years old and hasn’t been here for five years..
The woman told the police, “The house is in ruins: there are candles on the floor, there are mirrors facing the wall. The clothes are piled up. It is indescribable. Can you go and see it?” asked the woman. After a while, a patrol went to the building located in Villaverde Bajo (Madrid). “David was out of his mind before he left,” Carmen says, still in shock at her experience. Agents took note. “We can’t do much. There are many disappeared…and your child comes of age“.
“November 8, 2017 was the last time I saw my son, even though it all started the night before.” Carmen speaks to a media outlet for the first time. makes Broken by your absence and shattered by what she’s still going through. “David was a normal kid, he had flaws like everyone else, but he was normal. Nothing had happened to him before, he hadn’t taken any drugs…”.
Something happened to him that night. “I remember you appearing together in my room. an iron rod in hand“He revives the woman.” He shouted over and over again: ‘Mom, are you okay?'” He tried to calm her down: “David, I’m fine.” The young man did not calm down. “David, what are you doing with the knife? Let him go!” I told him. I remember. He reluctantly opened the kitchen cabinets and said, ‘You don’t know what I see there.He talked about his grandmother, who passed away years ago.
Carmen, in shock, manipulated the situation as best she could. “I didn’t know what to do. I really thought he should have a drink. It wasn’t normal for him to drink or even do drugs.” He suggested going to the emergency room. David said no. obviously calm. spend the night. Carmen, restless, went to work.
Batteries and batteries
At four in the afternoon the woman returned home and when she opened the door, she recalls, “she was almost giving me something.” He couldn’t get the scene out of his head: “David wasn’t there. He lit candles all over the house, in the rooms… Chairs overturned, drawers opened; all power tools with batteries removedpiles of clothes, cutlery and mirrors upside down, looking at the wall“.
His room, filled with photographs and posters, days ago was empty: “I put it in bags and they were in the living room.”
At four in the afternoon the children came. “Where did you come from David?” “To call you!” she replied. “But what happened here?” “I’ve done the cleaning. I’ll keep the whole floor.” His voice had changed again, “shaken.” Carmen called her sister, who is David’s aunt.
The woman entered the house. Again, seemingly calm, just a few seconds. “I’ll take Chinese for a moment,” said the young man to his aunt. “Will you be late?”, “No no I will come now”. He didn’t come back.
a burned photo
Minutes turned into hours. He didn’t come back. “He went with what he was wearing, he had a wallet, little money and papers.” It didn’t take long for them to go to the police. “We went the same night to file a complaint,” Carmen recalls, “and nothing was normal.”
He told what he had been through. “The house miraculously did not burn. He lit a lamp on me, lit a photo of my family in the living room. Pandemic, paranoia, or call it ‘x’, I don’t know, but something is clearly not right.”
David Hernando Cortes. 26 years. It is 1.75 m tall, thin built. Two tattoos on the right leg and arm. One says “Made in Madriz” and the other is a graffiti artist’s “takeo” (signature). Passionate about street art, known as “LORK”. Representatives completed the file. They said, “We’ll let you know if we know anything…”
“Will they not see the house? Shocking.” After Carmen’s insistence, agents came. They didn’t “touch anything”, didn’t take his cell phone, maybe his password or computer. “I can’t tell if they called my son,” she complains, “but David isn’t here today.”
Carmen, who went to Villaverde police station (Madrid), said: “First I complained to Usera, then it went there. They told me:Do you know how many people go missing in this neighborhood every day?He was young, “went on his own feet.” The investigation took root.
The Ministry of Interior’s protocol on the search for missing persons reveals that involuntary disappearances cover people with mental health problems, even if they leave voluntarily. Problems with cognitive impairment, mental disorders, psychotic break, neurodegenerative diseases or people with disabilities.
The search for the missing person is carried out for the person’s own safety or at the request of his relatives or close friends, and for social interest.
Cooks, shelters, hospitals, “We searched everywhere we could think of.” They drew all the scenes: “He lost his way, had an accident…”. They tried to communicate with friends, acquaintances, beat without rest. Nothing helped.
“They told us it was in a gazebo in Fuenlabrada, we went without hesitation,” Carmen recalls.
“Look, a colleague told me he was in a slum in Fuenlabrada…” a friend of David’s told them. “We went without hesitation. There was a lot of squatting in that area but You couldn’t even get close to the portal when you saw the people there“, reliving Carmen. The cottages, a lot, they looked at everything. “It was impossible. He was looking for a needle in a haystack.”
“He’s gone,” Carmen complains. “I do not know the reason.” She has been struggling to get up ever since, waiting for him,” she said.I know something happened to him, what was my home like, how was it, and there was no reason to disappear.. I spoke to the doctors later, and they all show that it bears all the hallmarks of a psychotic epidemic,” he complains.
There isn’t a day that I don’t think of him. “He always had a hood, backpack, and spray cans,” his mother recalls. “I always told him: but David … I didn’t like it when he did that,” she says. “I didn’t like it at all because he was good at painting, but I wanted him to take advantage of it, to direct it in another way.”
I’d give anything to see a new graffiti with his signature today. Something that will tell him everything is fine, something that will lead him to it.
A lover of music and cinema, most of his friends are from Azuqueca (Guadalajara), where he grew up. Many plastered Madrid (Fuenlabrada, Aluche…) with his photograph when they learned that he had disappeared..
They’ve been waiting for him for five years, just like Carmen did. He counts on reunification: “He loved Barcelona, the USA… but hey, maybe he’s in Chinchón,” he imagines. “Maybe a shield to deal with it, maybe but I think my son is fine and that one day he will come and introduce me to my grandson.
My site doesn’t want it, it doesn’t even want an explanation. “If someone knows something, help us… Or himself… He has the right to decide about his life. I just want to know that he’s okay.”