Authorities say the body of a child found yesterday at 3,000 feet below sea level off Tenerife is “almost certainly” one of two sisters snatched away by their fugitive father.
Police believe the missing six-year-old Olivia Gimeno was dumped inside a sports bag and weighed down with an anchor. Another empty sports bag was found nearby.
It contained the body of Olivia’s missing sister, Anna, in another holdall and can never be found.
Beatriz Zimmerman, a grieving mother of two girls, is informed of the horrific discovery.
Her ex Tomas Antonio Gimeno, 37, went missing with the girls on April 27 after they were not returned to their home in Tenerife’s capital, Santa Cruz, which was followed around the world.
A spokesman for the investigating magistrate said: “Until more conclusive forensic tests, the body could almost certainly be that of Olivia G, who went missing on April 27 along with her one-year-old sister and their father.
“The body was found this afternoon by a robot from the search vessel Angeles Alvarino, about three miles off the Tenerife coast, about 1,000 meters below the water.
“It was inside a sports bag attached to an anchor. Next to him was another empty sports bag.
“The body was taken to dry land for autopsy. The ship, the Angelis Alvarino, continues its search.
Last night, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez reacted to the sad news, tweeting: “I can’t begin to imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia, who went missing in Tenerife, the terrible news we’ve had.” Just heard
“I send a hug and send to my love and my entire family, who show solidarity with Beatriz and her loved ones today.”
José Manuel Bermudez, Mayor of Tenerife’s capital Santa Cruz, announced that a minute’s silence for Anna and Olivia would be held tomorrow afternoon.
He said: “There are no words to express the terrible desolation I feel.
“Out of respect for Mother’s pain and with all the caution that the terrible news is reaching us, I want to express all the solidarity of the citizens of Santa Cruz to the family.”
Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres tweeted: “Weeks hoping to receive candid news and today we get the worst possible, one that sets our souls free, little girls from Tenerife, Anna and Olivia about.
“Our condolences, encouragement and strength to his mother Beatriz, his family and friends. The Canary Islands are devastated.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among those who shared a video of Olivia and Anna that their mother released as part of a massive social media campaign urging the public to help find them. it was done.
Beatriz said after she found the diving bottle on Monday, she thought it was part of an attempt by her estranged partner to hide her flight with the girls.
South America was highlighted as a place where Gimeno could take them along with the youth soon after they disappeared.
Georgina Rodriguez said in an emotional post to her 24 million Instagram followers shortly after the mystery disappeared: “I want to use my reach on this great social network to make sure it reaches as many people as possible.
“These are two sisters who are being sought in Spain and abroad. They are called Olivia and Anna and are six and one.
“His mother is demanding maximum publicity for this video so that he can be found and brought home as soon as possible.
“I wholeheartedly hope that the girls are safe and well and can embrace their mothers again soon.”
Local officials said all theories were being explored from the start, including the possibility of the girls dying, though their loved ones said they were clinging to the hope that they were still alive and their mother’s death. The reunion with may still happen.
Gimeno took the girls without consent and left Tenerife on a boat that was later found empty from Puerto de Guimar, on the eastern corner of the island 10 miles south of Santa Cruz.
Police were using a boat loaned to them by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography to find clues to the place where Gimeno’s mobile signal was last detected.
Gimeno had never acknowledged Beatriz’s relationship with a new Belgian partner after their split.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard said: “This afternoon the boat belonging to the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, ngeles Albario, which was in Tenerife, was hitting the sea bed following the disappearance of Tomas Gimeno on 27 April, in which his daughters Anna and Human remains were found with Olivia.
“Those remains matched with the body of a minor and were discovered in the search area were determined by investigators.
“The remains have been taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Santa Cruz where they will be analyzed for identification purposes.”