What Happened to Ana Maria Knezevich Henao? An Arrest Has Been Made

The lenses of the security cameras outside of Ana Maria Knezevich Henao's apartment in Madrid were sprayed with black paint.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 7 2024, Published 1:42 p.m. ET

According to the U.S. Department of State, if someone you know goes missing abroad there are a few steps you can take before beginning to panic. Some are obvious, such as texting. Cell service can be spotty when you're outside of your own country, so it's probably a good idea to download an app that can connect to WiFi. After reaching out to anyone they were traveling with as well as contacting hotels, schools, or other organizations, it's best to get in touch with someone from the U.S. Department of State.

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When Ana Maria Knezevic Henao disappeared in February 2024 while visiting Spain, missing person posters appeared all around Madrid, per NBC News. Her smiling face was shared online and by various television news stations in Europe. Joaquin Amills Bonet, president of a Spanish missing persons volunteer organization, said, "Alerts have been seen over 15 million times" within the two weeks she vanished. What happened to Ana Maria Knezevic Henao? Here's what we know.

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What happened to Ana Maria Knezevich Henao?

Knezevich Henao had been renting an apartment in Madrid since December 2023 because she and her husband, David Knezevic, were having marital problems. The Colombian-born Knezevic Henao was living in Florida but wanted a divorce so she could permanently relocate to Spain. Her friends and family attribute the contentious divorce proceedings to the couple's financial status. Three corporations registered under both their names "provide technology and other types of support for South Florida businesses."

Sanna Rameau sent Knezevich Henao a text on Feb. 2, 2024, the day she disappeared, but never got a reply. She spent an hour on the phone with another friend at 8:30 p.m. and told them she planned on staying in that night. NBC News reported that "at an unknown time on Feb. 2, a neighbor noticed that security camera lenses in Knezevic Henao's building had been covered with black spray paint." The lights were still on in her apartment as late as 1:00 a.m.

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The following day, Rameau told authorities they received a very bizarre text from Knezevic Henao. Evidently, she met a man and was planning to go to his home which was two hours outside of Madrid. She added that phone service was spotty. Due to the strangeness of this message, Rameau contacted the police.

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David Knezevich has been charged with kidnapping his wife.

The Associated Press reported that Knezevich was arrested at at Miami International Airport on May 4, 2024, and has been "charged in connection with the Feb. 2 disappearance of his 40-year-old wife." Court documents obtained by NBC Miami show that Knezevich "resembles the man wearing a motorcycle helmet who spray painted the security camera lens outside Ana Knezevich’s Madrid apartment on Feb. 2. The man left an hour later carrying a suitcase."

Spanish police also have possession of security footage showing Knezevich purchasing duct tape as well as the same brand of paint used on the cameras at Knezevich Henao's apartment. Knezevich’s attorney, Ken Padowitz, has previously stated his client is innocent and added he was in his native country of Serbia when his estranged wife vanished. Spanish police have reason to believe this wasn't entirely true.

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Authorities discovered that Knezevich rented a Peugeot from a car rental company in Belgrade, Serbia, four days before Knezevich Henao went missing. Three days later, a "Spanish driver reported his license plates were stolen." A vehicle with the stolen plates was recorded by a license plate reader outside of Knezevich Henao's apartment on Feb. 2. Hours later, a "Peugeot bearing the stolen license plates went through a suburban Madrid toll booth," per video surveillance.

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Tinted windows obscured the driver's face. More than a month later, the car rental agency told police that when Knezevich returned his rental car, the windows had been darkened. They also noted the vehicle had been "driven almost 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers)." The FBI spoke with a Colombian woman who said she met Knezevich on a dating app in the fall of 2023. He asked her to translate a text from English to Spanish that matched the text Knezevich Henao sent to her friend the morning she disappeared.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, there is no more information at this time. "I am happy that there has been an arrest,” said Knezevich Henao's friend Rameau. “We are hoping that this next chapter will bring justice and find answers about what has happened to Ana."

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