Last day undersea search for Anna and Tomás off Tenerife

by Deborah Cater
Sonar boat searching for Anna and Tomás
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Spanish police forces have access to the sonar boat and robot which found the body of kidnapped girl Olivia on the seabed off Tenerife for just one more day. What will happen if the bodies of the younger sister and her father, Anna and Tomás, are not found today?

The special sonar boat Ángeles Alvariño and the underwater robot will be used for the last time on 16 June in the search for the younger sister, Anna, and father Tomás Gimeno. Since May 30, the sonar boat and robot have searched for remains off the Tenerife coast.

Last day searching on the seabed 

The Spanish police are now doing everything they can to find both bodies. However, they consider it more likely to find the father’s body. A week ago, police found two sports bags attached to the boat’s anchor. In one of the bags, the police found the body of 6-year-old Olivia. The other bag, however, was torn and empty. The police suspect it was broken by the anchor and that Anna’s remains are elsewhere in the sea.

Only if an important clue is found before tonight will these resources continue to be used.  The underwater robot, especially, is important because of the steep slopes and great depths off the Spanish island. Sources from the Canary Islands’ regional government have asked to be allowed to use the sonar boat and the robot for a few more days.

What happened on Tenerife according to the Spanish police and court?

The Spanish court and the Guardia Civil still assume that Tomás killed the girls at his home address in Candelaria. They were then wrapped in rubbish bags and towels, and he then took them aboard his boat in sports bags. He lowered these bags into the sea at the anchor of the boat.

It is believed he then took his own life. The Spanish news site Ondacera.es wrote on Wednesday, the father deliberately caused uncertainty about the girls in order to cause their mother the greatest possible pain,

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What happens if the bodies of Tomás and Anna are not found?

It is unlikely the bodies of Gimeno and Anna will be found today. If no remains are found, the case will expire after 20 years. This is the time limit set by Spanish law for investigating a crime involving murder. However, the court can temporarily archive the case and reopen it when new insights or evidence arise.

Under Spanish law, it is important the father is found as it takes 10 years before someone is changed from ‘disappeared’ to ‘deceased’ status. The date of April 27, 2021, the day the father disappeared, is hereby used as the starting date.

Despite the fact it is believed the father committed suicide, the Spanish court issued an international search warrant against him. This covers all bases should this theory be wrong.

Spain stands up to domestic violence

For the mother, Beatriz Zimmerman, this has been a horrific experience. On the Facebook page run by her friends, she sent a letter thanking everyone for their support. She also said they have not died in vain, “I hope Anna and Olivia’s deaths were not in vain. And that although now we feel greater hatred, hopelessness and pain, it is not to bring more fear to the world but rather the opposite. That transcends in love for the children in the form of protection, education and respect”.

Since her eldest daughter was found lifeless, Beatriz has asked through the Spanish media for stricter laws to better protect children against domestic violence. Hundreds of people protested against this form of violence in several Spanish cities in recent days.

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