RODA DE BARÀ – What initially looked like a decayed toy doll to passers-by, turned out to be the remains of a presumably two-year-old child. The case is now being investigated under the secrecy of the judicial proceedings.
Forensic and police reports should determine the cause of death, but all indications are that investigators will face several difficulties that may make identifying the victim impossible.
If the hypothesis that the child came from a boat full of migrants is confirmed, it will be added to the endless and painful list of anonymous deaths on the migratory routes to Europe via the Mediterranean.
The national database of missing persons has already been checked, but the characteristics of the found body do not match any case in the national database of missing persons, according to El Mundo. Furthermore, there have also been no recent reported disappearances from nearby beaches or recreational craft. That is why one of the first hypotheses that the child fell into the sea a few days ago from a boat and was carried to the beach by the water of the Mediterranean Sea, is flawed.
According to Mayor Pere Virgili of Roda de Berà, this assumption was based on the type of clothing the child was wearing: “Long pants, sweater and a jacket with long sleeves.” A witness to the find also noted that the child was wearing “gloves and shoes” that “did not expose the hands and legs”.
“It is possible that it comes from a shipwreck of one of the boats that make the Mediterranean the mare mortum,” Virgili added, referring to the scene of thousands of tragedies this sea has seen in recent years. If this assumption is confirmed, DNA analysis would probably not be enough to identify the victim. It should then be added to the endless list of anonymous deaths on the migration routes to Europe.
More than 30,000 people have died at sea since 2014
According to recent data from the International Organisation for Migration, affiliated with the UN, more than 30,000 people have died at sea since 2014 trying to reach this continent. This year alone, around a thousand deaths have been reported on the Central Mediterranean route, considered one of the most dangerous in the world.
The case of the toddler found in Roda de Berà brought up another incident. That took place just over ten days ago in the same province and may have similarities. On June 29, a floating body was found on El Miracle Beach in Tarragona. It turned out to be a limbless torso in an advanced state of decomposition. According to initial indications, it might be a woman, although she could not be identified.
The Guardia Civil investigators work with the hypothesis that it could be a criminal death as well as the possibility of an accident. Due to the fact that the body lay in the water for several days before being seen by a lifeguard, the origin could be related to a shipwreck of migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean.