Police have now officially confirmed the identity of the skeleton, wearing a neoprene scuba diving suit, found off the coast of Calpe in the Mediterranean sea in July 2013.
The gruesome discovery was made by the occupants of a yacht called “Yaiza”, just 40 miles off the coast of Calpe.
The skeleton was still wearing scuba diving gear and a backpack containing 540 euros in cash, a cellphone and a passport in the name of Abdelaziz Elfayafi, born on January 8, 1989 in Imzouren in the Rif region of Morocco.
As the body was so badly decomposed, it was at first impossible to confirm whether the diver was the owner of the passport found in the backpack.
Following a DNA test, the Civil Guard have now solved the mystery and have confirmed that the body did, in fact, belong to Abdelaziz, and his family have been contacted.
Farah Elfayafi, sister of the deceased, has also confirmed that the body belongs to Abdelaziz, or Abdel as he was known to his family and friends. He was buried on Sunday in the Berber village of Boukidan, where he had lived with his parents, Hafida and Hammadi.
The Moroccan consulate in Valencia paid for the transportation of the body from Spain to Tangier, and the transfer to his family’s village, where they buried him according to Muslim rites.
This is not the first tragedy to strike the family, as, at only 21-years-old, Farah has now buried two siblings, with another five remaining. The family’s first loss occurred in 2011, when their 27-year-old son Mohammed, a university professor, was found dead inside his apartment.
“He died of natural causes, because he had a heart condition,” explained Farah. And now in June 2013, it was the turn of brother Abdelaziz.
Farah said that Abdelaziz had degrees in both computer administration and accounting. He spoke four languages – Arabic, French, English and Dutch.
He was also involved in a course in humanities at Oujda University and loved travel, swimming, music and sports.
He had been performing clerical work at a couple of businesses, one owned by a relative, and was seeking employment in the months leading to his death.
Abdel’s mother was the last person to see him alive on May 27. Farah explained: “He left the house like any other day, and said he was going to Tangier.”
“A while later he called home and told her that he was at the port of that city because of a project,” she added.
Farah feels that Abdel may have been visiting Tangier as part of plans to start a business with his older brother Ahmed, who lives in Belgium. The two brothers were investigating the possibility of importing spare car parts to Morocco and Tangier would be the ideal port for delivery.
However, this does not explain why Abdelaziz jumped into the sea in a diver’s suit. Farah, who is now caring for her distraught mother says, “I think there is a secret behind my brother’s death.”
Speaking of her mother, she added, “She says that nothing matters to her anymore, but in time she will forget. Such is life.”
Some people had suggested that drugs were involved in the diving incident, but Farah rules this out, saying: “I know what it might look like, but he wasn’t like that.”
“He was an extraordinary guy, very good with computers, and shy – he didn’t talk much. He was looking for a job but did not need money, and he was a good diver. We all are, because we were born right by the beach.”
And while the Spanish Civil Guard initially thought that Abdel may have been an immigrant trying to reach Spain by sea, Farah disagrees.
Spanish police have concluded that the death is by natural causes.
“Spanish authorities gave us no information, they just said that since the body showed no signs of violence, they would not be investigating any further,” said Abdel’s brother Ahmed, who has decided to launch his own investigation into the mysterious death of his brother.
The Facebook account of Abdelaziz Elfayafi, showing a photo of him smiling, young and carefree, has now been cancelled. Until then, on the wall was a message from his sister Farah of only three words, “Where are you?”