María Gombau and her boyfriend Gabriel Carvajal wanted their children and they cared for them. In this half a dozen sources consulted, two of them close to the couple accused of killing, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning his two children in Godella (Valencia), Amiel, three and a half years, and Rachel, who was going to serve six months. They not only wanted them; they went out of their way to care for them, in the words of a friend of the 27-year-old girl, as well as two "cornice angels". What few knew was that both had been sliding in a whirlwind of madness for some time. And what nobody imagined was that this path could lead to horror.
The situation of the children was not under the supervision of social services until Wednesday because, according to municipal sources and people close to the family agree, the couple had not given reasons for it. The images that the media have published, taken from where the perimeter established by the Civil Guard allowed, do not show the squatted house where Gombau and Carvajal resided with their children, but an abandoned abandoned warehouse. The house had running water and electric light thanks to the solar panels that had been installed, it was clean and had been rehabilitated with care, says a friend. The children were clean, the oldest was enrolled in school, both went to swimming lessons, played in the park with other children, were well fed and showed no signs of abuse. On the contrary, according to six people who knew them and defended this Friday also the grandmother, they received from their parents a lot of affection, something especially visible in the case of the mother.
Until this week, the couple appeared in the municipal files following the request made in 2016 by the Court of Instruction 2 of Paterna so that the social services of Godella intervene in a "conflict of neighborhood coexistence," reported Friday the mayor of Godella, Eva Sanchis. The file was closed because the family temporarily left the municipality. Gombau, who participated in the 15-M and another contemporary student movement, the Valencian Spring, was arrested in a protest and sentenced for resistance to the authority to perform community work in the Rocafort library.
Since 2017, the young woman received psychiatric treatment at the Godella health center, but that is not in itself a reason for the withdrawal of custody, say municipal sources. The Generalitat, in that scenario, had not intervened because nobody had asked for it, they say. The Office of the Children's Prosecutor, the other way to withdraw custody, did not receive an alert until this week, when the grandmother denounced the case. First he called the police on Monday, because Gombau did not answer the messages, but the agents did not see anything abnormal in the house. As she still did not know anything about the daughter and grandchildren, the woman called again on Wednesday to the Child Care Department of the Valencian Government, from where the social services of Godella were notified that they opened a file: they requested information from the grandmother of the children, to the public school of Rocafort where Amiel attended and to the center of health of Godella. The mechanisms were put into operation, but they could not avoid the unexpected tragedy: that same night, or maybe on Thursday morning, the mother allegedly killed the children and buried them with a father's participation yet to be determined, but according to the researchers was, at a minimum, a cover-up.
How did Gombau get to that point? Her friends explain that the alternative philosophy of the young woman resulted in an increasingly intense "paranoia of control" mixed with mystical theories about the existence of previous lives. Gombau and Carvajal had talked for some time that the world was dominated by a sect of pedophiles. But the process experienced an exponential jump a month and a half ago when their behavior adopted, according to research sources and two of their acquaintances, the characteristics of a psychotic outbreak probably stoked by the regular consumption of psychotropic drugs, especially marijuana. "At the beginning of February they began to say that everyone was part of that sect and that they were being persecuted. The teachers of the school of Amiel, the townspeople … doubted even the mother of Maria and her friends, "says a friend of the couple.
Only the closest circle knew that the couple had spent months taking turns to spend the nights awake, keeping watch to prevent the alleged sect from entering the house at night and taking their children away. And not even his closest friends imagined that on Thursday, before the interrogators of the Civil Guard, Carvajal was going to declare that, by killing them, Gombau expected the children to reincarnate in her body. As if to protect them.
In mid-February, the father was fired from work because of his tardiness. And the mother called to remove the child from school because, he said, they were going to leave town. In the center they were told that they had to go and process the leave in person. During the following weeks, the school telephoned Gombau twice to ask him why they did not take the child to class or go to school to tell him about his new school – despite the fact that schooling is only compulsory after six years of age. . The young woman said in both cases that they were preparing the move, that they would do it. They never went.
María Gombau was transferred this Friday to a hospital center to determine, by specialists in psychiatry, if she is in a mental condition to give a statement.
The young woman and her partner, Gabriel Carvajal, regularly consumed, at least, marijuana, several people who knew them agree. Miguel del Nogal, psychologist expert in addictions, points out that psychotropic substances and in particular hallucinogens can cause the appearance of two types of psychotic symptoms. On the one hand, the so-called psychosis induced by a substance, which with the appropriate medication usually remit within two weeks or a month. But hallucinogens can also unleash "a psychotic picture latent in the person, and in this case the case may remain for a lifetime," warns Del Nogal.