Spain’s prime minister has offered his condolences after authorities said a body found hundreds of feet under the ocean off Tenerife was “almost certainly” one of two sisters who went missing after being snatched by their fugitive father.
Investigators said that they believed a body found on Thursday in a sports bag that was weighed down with an anchor was missing six-year-old Olivia Gimeno, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
They said a second empty sports bag was also found nearby, leading to fears that the second bag may have contained the body of her one-year-old sister, Anna.
The Canary Islands High Court and the Civil Guard confirmed the news of the disturbing discovery.
The two sisters were reported missing on April 27 after they were believed to have been taken by their father, Tomás Gimeno, during a visit with him.
According to El Pais, Tomás Gimeno had told his ex-partner, the children’s mother, Beatriz, that she would never see their children again, but that he would take good care of them.
The father’s boat was found drifting by police off the east coast of Tenerife, with traces of his blood reportedly found on board.
A search is still underway for Anna and Tomás as an autopsy is also expected to be carried out on the body believed to be Olivia.
Responding to the news, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered his condolences to the young girls’ mother, Beatriz.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia, who disappeared in Tenerife, following the terrible news we have just heard,” Sanchez said.
“I send a hug and my love and that of my whole family, who today show solidarity with Beatriz and her loved ones,” he said.