Denise Thiem: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Denise Thiem disappearance, Miguel Angel

An arrest has been made in American tourist Denise Thiem’s disappearance from the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Miguel Angel MB led investigators to a body on his property that they think may be Denise. (Facebook)

An arrest has been made in the disappearance of Denise Thiem, an American tourist who went missing on the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. Miguel Angel Munoz, a man who lived near the pilgrimage road and who was known to have harassed other tourists, was arrested and led investigators to a body on his property, according to El Norte de Castilla. Officials think the body will be confirmed to be Thiem.


1. Miguel Angel Led Investigators to a Body on His Property

Denise Thiem found

Denise Thiem was traveling near the area where Miguel led police to a body on his property. (Facebook)

Miguel Angel Munoz, also referred to as Miguel Angel MB in some Spanish-language publications, was arrested. He led authorities to a body that was buried on his farm, El Norte de Castilla reported. Authorities have not yet officially confirmed that the body was Denise’s.


2. He Was Known to Have Harassed Others Traveling on the Pilgrimage Road

Miguel, 39, was well known in the region. Some residents thought he had psychological problems, El Norte de Castilla reported. He stole apples, had arguments with other residents, and was known for harassing pilgrims on the road. He was suspected for weeks and was under investigation, El Comercio reported. He may have tried to flee the city on bus before he was apprehended.


3. Thiem Has Been Missing Since April

Denise Thiem body found

Denise Thiem has been missing since April. (Facebook)

Thiem, who is from Arizona, went missing in April after starting out on a pilgrimage on the El Camino de Santiago route. She was last seen in Astorga in northwestern Spain. She had been posting pictures on social networks, and all communication from her stopped on April 4, Reuters reported. Her last communication was an email to a friend, saying she planned to go to Mass in Astorga before heading to El Ganso.


4. She Quit Her Job to Go On the Pilgrimage

Denie Thiem body found

Denise Thiem quit her job to go on the pilgrimage. (Facebook)

Thiem had quit her job so she could go on the pilgrimage and travel the world, Sky News reported. She was inspired to go on the hike after seeing the 2010 movie The Way with Martin Sheen. A Facebook page dedicated to Thiem stated that she had become less concerned with material things in life, and more concerned about her family, her brother, and her dogs. She was on a journey of self-discovery that was cut tragically short.


5. Her Disappearance Sparked Concerns About Pilgrims’ Safety

Denise Thiem safety concerns

Concerns about the safety of the pilgrimage route have been raised since Denise Thiem’s disappearance. (Facebook)

Thiem’s disappearance led to many concerns about the safety of thousands of people who walk the 470-mile pilgrimage route, The Daily Mail reported. The pilgrimage route has ancient roots, leading to the shrine of St. James the Great. About 500,000 pilgrims used to walk the route every year around the 13th century, according to Sky News.

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