THE body of a child has been found in the ocean off Tenerife where police have been looking for two girls snatched by their fugitive dad in April.
The discovery comes after a diving bottle and duvet cover belonging to the youngsters’ father was found on Monday more than 3,000 feet underwater near the same area.
Beatriz Zimmerman, the anguished mother of missing Olivia, six and one-year-old Anna has been informed.
Tomas Antonio Gimeno, 37, disappeared on April 27 with the girls after failing to return them to their home in the Tenerife capital Santa Cruz in a drama which has been followed around the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among those who shared a video of Olivia and Anna released by their mum as part of a huge social media campaign urging the public for help in finding them.
Beatriz said after the diving bottle was found on Monday she thought it was part of an attempt by her estranged partner to disguise his flight with the girls.
South America was highlighted soon after Gimeno vanished with the youngsters as a place he could have taken them.
Georgina Rodriguez said in an emotional post to her 24 million Instagram followers shortly after the mystery disappearance: “I want to use my reach on this great social network to make sure this reaches as many people as possible.
“These are two sisters who are being searched for in Spain and abroad.
“They are called Olivia and Anna and are aged six and one.
“Their mum is seeking maximum publicity for this video to try to find them as soon as possible and bring them home.
“I hope with all my heart that the girls are found safe and well and can hug their mum again soon.”
Local authorities said from the start all theories were being explored, including the possibility the girls were dead, although their loved ones said they were clinging to the hope they were still alive and a reunion with their mum could still take place.
Gimeno took the girls without consent and left Tenerife on a boat which was later found empty off Puertito de Guimar, which is on the east corner of the island just over 10 miles south of Santa Cruz.
Police had been using a boat lent to them by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography to search for clues in the spot where Gimeno’s mobile signal was last detected.
Gimeno had never accepted Beatriz’s relationship with a new Belgian partner following their split.
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A spokesman for the Civil Guard said: “This afternoon the boat belonging to the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, Angeles Alabrino, which was in Tenerife combing the sea bed following the disappearance on April 27 of Tomas Gimeno with his daughters Anna and Olivia, found human remains.
“Those remains correspond with the body of a minor and were discovered in the search area that had been determined by investigators.
“The remains have been taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Santa Cruz where they will be analysed for the purposes of identification.”