Sea searches continue after Spanish woman’s body is found in bag


MADRID – Spain is in shock after investigators searched the seabed near the Canary Islands and found the body of one of the two young sisters taken by their father a few weeks earlier without the mother’s permission .

Coroners have confirmed that the body found in a bag and tied to an anchor at a depth of about 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) belonged to Olivia, 6, the older of the two sisters.

Another similar bag that was empty was found nearby by a special oceanographic research vessel assisting in the search, the Spanish Civil Guard said, adding that the search for Anna, 1, and their father, Tomás Gimeno, was still in progress.

National and regional government officials condemned Olivia’s death on Friday and expressed support for the girls’ mother, Beatriz Zimmermann.

“I can’t imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted. “My hug, my love and that of all my family, who today sympathizes with Beatriz and those close to him.”

Women’s rights organizations on Friday called for protests across Spain against the recent increase in violence against women, often using children as a means of causing harm.

Gimeno and the girls disappeared on April 27 in Tenerife, the largest island in the archipelago off West Africa.

Their mother, who is divorced from the girls’ father, claimed he told her she would never see them again.

Investigators launched an extensive search on land and at sea, but focused on the waters off Tenerife after Gimeno’s boat was found empty and drifting at sea.

Interpol also joined in the search, posting photographs of the two girls and issuing “yellow notices” aimed at locating the missing persons.

The girls’ mother had uploaded several videos of her daughters in an attempt to find them.

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