Spanish police have found the body of U.S. tourist Denise Pikka Thiem, who went missing in April as she was walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in northwestern Spain, and have detained a suspect.

Thiem was last seen near Astorga, in the province of Leon, in early April. She stopped posting pictures on social networks and communicating with friends on April 4.

"Following months of intense investigations, our agents have found the body of Denise and detained the alleged perpetrator," the head of the Spanish police, Ignacio Cosido, said on Twitter.

A police spokesman told Reuters the man, a 39-year-old Spaniard who lived in the area where the body was found, was detained on Friday on suspicion of murder.

Thiem, who was from Phoenix, Arizona, was 40 when she disappeared and would have turned 41 in August.

(Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez and Julien Toyer, Editing by Ros Russell)