THE mother of two girls feared murdered by their father who is accused of dumping their bodies at sea off Tenerife has spoken out and demanded tougher laws to protect children in domestic disputes.
In a case that has shaken Spain, father Tomas Gimeno, 37, disappeared with his daughters on April 27 after telling his ex-wife Beatriz Zimmermann she would “never see them again”.
After an extensive search that included divers combing the sea bed, the body of six-year-old Last Thursday, the body of Olivia was discovered in a sports bag weighed down with an anchor, not far from the drifting boat that belonged to Gimeno.
Anna, 1, is still missing and so is her father, although police believe it is likely they are both dead.
Another empty sports bag was also found, a court statement said.
In an emotional letter released on Monday, Zimmermann said her daughters were victims of ‘vicarious violence’ when minors are targeted in a domestic dispute to punish a parent.
“Thanks to them we know what vicarious violence means. I hope they make tougher laws to protect (children). They should not have to be put in sports bags. If love ends, the most important thing is the well-being of the children,” she wrote.
In a preliminary report, Judge Priscilla Espinosa Gutierriez wrote: “(Gimeno’s) plan was to cause his ex-partner the greatest pain she could imagine, by deliberately causing uncertainty about the fate that Olivia and Anna had suffered at his hands.”
As a maritime search renewed on Monday for Gimeno and Anna, Zimmermann paid tribute to her two “little angels”.
“Anna and Olivia were full of love, every day I told them every moment that I loved them very much.
“I wish I had been there at that moment with them, holding their hands and dying together.”
She said that her ex-husband had wanted her to “suffer looking for them without rest and for the remainder of my life. That was the reason he left me alive.”
The case has gripped Spain with demonstrations in cities across the nation over the weekend.
“All Spain is shocked, all our support for the families whose pain is absolutely unbearable and unimaginable, all our rejection of sexist violence, the vicarious violence that some still deny in our country,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday.
A Tenerife court issued an international warrant on Saturday for Gimeno’s arrest on suspicion of two counts of aggravated homicide and one of domestic violence.
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