Spain: Man gets 23 years in jail for US pilgrim slaying

Posted at 8:23 AM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 11:23:21-04

A court has sentenced a Spanish man to 23 years in jail for the murder of an Arizona woman while she was walking a world-renowned pilgrimage route in Spain.

The court Tuesday sentenced Miguel Angel Munoz, 41, to 20 years for killing 41-year-old Denise Pikka Thiem and three years for stealing some $1,100 dollars from her.

A jury found Munoz guilty April 5.

Thiem, a Phoenix resident, went missing in April 2015 in a rural area of northwestern Spain while on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

Munoz was arrested five months later and led investigators to Thiem's buried body.

Thiem was diverted from the pilgrimage trail by a marker Munoz put up to lead pilgrims near his house.


She died from serious brain injuries caused by repeated beatings.