A father suspected of kidnapping and killing his two daughters is said to have left goodbye messages for family and friends before a girl’s body was found in a gym bag at sea.
The child’s remains were found in a gym bag with an anchor off the coast of Tenerife alongside another empty travel bag more than 1,300 feet underwater.
Spanish authorities say it is “almost certainly” the body of missing six-year-old Olivia Gimeno, whose one-year-old sister Anna and father Tomas Gimeno, 37, have not been found almost two months after the trio disappeared. triggered an international manhunt.
The dire discovery was made about a mile at sea off the coast Thursday.
The girls’ mother, Beatriz Zimmerman, previously told of desperate hopes that their daughters would be found alive the day before the seabed was found.
Authorities said they would be kept informed of developments following the tragic discovery.
Overnight it turned out that the anchor used to weigh down the holdall came from Gimeno’s boat.
The ship was found empty off Puerto de Guimar, about 10 miles south of Tenerife’s capital Santa Cruz, in the hours after he and the girls disappeared.
The father of two became the focus of an international manhunt after he disappeared with his daughters on April 27 and warned his estranged wife in a “farewell message” that she would never see them again.
Police found no evidence to support the theory that Gimeno fled abroad with the girls – a hope kept alive by the children’s desperate mother while reportedly he could have taken them to Africa or South America.
A search ship on Friday was busy combing the seabed in the area where the child’s body was found.
A scuba tank and duvet cover belonging to the child’s father were also discovered on Monday near the seabed search area where the child’s remains were discovered.
Overnight, Spanish media reported that investigators suspect Gimeno drugged and killed his daughters in his home before putting them in separate bags, taking their bodies out to sea and throwing them into the sea with anchors attached.
The Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported that open drug packages containing sedatives and muscle relaxants were found in his living room.
Gimeno was reportedly seen on CCTV loading several bags on his boat in the Tenerife Marina in Santa Cruz the night the girls went missing.
A security guard said he saw a man who matched his description without the teenagers being seen, the report said.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among the celebs who stressed the girls’ disappearance in the days following their disappearance.
Georgina, 27, said in an emotional post to her 24 million Instagram followers shortly after the mysterious disappearance: “I wholeheartedly hope that the girls will be found safely and that they will soon be able to hug their mom again.”
A minute’s silence should take place for Anna and Olivia on Friday afternoon in Santa Cruz, as the remains found in the sports bag are being forensically examined.
A spokesman for the investigating judge in charge of the judicial inquiry into the case said Thursday evening that the body was “almost certainly” Olivia’s.
A spokesman for the Guardia Civil in Tenerife confirmed that the remains were found during the search for the missing girls.
Santa Cruz Mayor Jose Manuel Bermudez responded Thursday to the discovery, saying, “There are no words to express the terrible desperation I feel.
“Out of respect for the mother’s pain and with all the caution that the terrible news that reaches us deserves, I would like to express to the family the whole solidarity of the citizens of Santa Cruz.”
Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres tweeted: “Weeks hoping to receive hopeful news and today we are receiving the worst possible that freezes our souls through the little Tenerife girls Anna and Olivia.
“Our condolences, our encouragement and our strength for her mother Beatriz, her family and friends. Canary Islands devastated. “
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted: “I cannot imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia, who disappeared in Tenerife after the terrible news we just heard.
“I send a hug and my love and that of my whole family, who today show solidarity with Beatrice and her loved ones.”