A mother whose two children were allegedly killed by their father and dumped at sea has claimed her ex-husband ‘wanted her to suffer looking for them for the rest of my life’ in an emotional open letter.
Tomas Gimeno’s daughter Olivia, six, was found lifeless in a sports bag more than 3,000 feet underwater near Tenerife on Thursday, next to a second holdall which was empty.
The 37-year-old and his youngest daughter Anna, one, are still missing but presumed dead.
A judge investigating the disappearance has accused Gimeno of killing his children and throwing their bodies from his boat in a ‘planned and premeditated fashion to cause his ex-partner inhumane pain.’
Mother-of-two Beatriz Zimmerman yesterday appeared to accept her youngest daughter was dead in a moving open letter, while condemning her ex-husband’s actions as ‘the most monstrous act a person can commit’.
The body of six-year-old Olivia (left) was found on Thursday underwater while Anna, one, is still missing but feared dead
Tomas Gimeno vanished on April 27 after telling ex-partner Beatriz Zimmerman (pictured) she would never see her children again
Ms Zimmerman, who lives in Tenerife, added she hopes Olivia and Anna’s deaths would not be in vain and would lead to more ‘protection, education and respect’ for children.
In the letter, she said: ‘Anna and Olivia were full of love, every day I told them every moment that I loved them very much.
‘Children are our responsibility and as a mother it hurts my soul not to have been able to save their lives.
‘I wish I had been there at that moment with them, holding their hands and dying together.’
Tomas Gimeno, 37, is also believed to be dead
She added that Gimeno had wanted her to ‘suffer looking for them without rest and for the remainder of my life,’ saying: ‘That was the reason he left me alive.’
Ms Zimmerman said: ‘They are now two angels who came into the world to teach a great lesson at the cost of their own lives.’
She also admitted she would give anything to perform the ‘simple’ act of combing their hair, saying: ‘As a mother it pains my soul not to have been able to save their lives.’
Signing off the letter ‘Beatriz, mum of Olivia and Anna, the little angels,’ the heartbroken mother added: ‘They may have died in body, but their soul is with all of us forever, helping to have more awareness, love and respect for us.
‘The vast majority of people are incredible beings, they have shown it in this cruel act with compassion and pain.’
Gimeno vanished on April 27 after telling Ms Zimmerman she would never see her children again when she began a new relationship with a wealthy Belgian.
Olivia has not been seen since being snatched with her toddler sister, Anna (pictured together), by her fugitive father on April 27
A Spanish judge tasked with investigating the disappearance outlined the night he allegedly murdered his children as she said the criminal investigation should now be handed to a specialist court dealing with crimes of violence against women in Santa Cruz.
In a nine-page ruling, Priscila Espinosa Guterriez said: ‘The evidence points to Tomas Gimeno’s intention on April 27 when he took his daughters, being not to snatch them from their mum and take them to an unknown place, but to kill them in a planned and premeditated fashion to cause his ex-partner inhumane pain.’
She added: ‘He allegedly deliberately tried to create uncertainty regarding the fate his daughters had suffered by hiding their bodies on the ocean bed after killing them, choosing a place deep underwater and far from the coast where he thought they would never be found.
‘All this happened after he told his ex-partner and his close circle he was going to disappear with the girls and they wouldn’t be seen again.’
People gather in Madrid, Spain, following the discovery of Olivia’s body last week
Interpol issued so-called ‘yellow notices’ for the girls last month – a step to help locate missing persons, often minors, or help identify people who are unable to identify themselves
A search vessel lent to the police by the Spanish Oceanographic Institute – Angeles Alvarino – is continuing to comb the ocean bed in the area where Olivia’s body was found.
A diving bottle and duvet cover belonging to the youngsters’ father had been discovered on Monday more than 3,000 feet underwater near the same area.
Fears are growing that Anna’s body may never be found if she was left in the empty holdall police discovered.
It was confirmed by court officials on Friday that Olivia died of pulmonary edema.
It was reported on Friday that police investigators believe Olivia and Anna’s father drugged and killed them at his home before putting them in separate holdalls, taking their bodies out to sea and throwing them into the ocean with the anchor attached.
It is understood Gimeno killed his daughters at his home between 7.50pm and 9pm on April 27, although the circumstances are still being probed.
Investigators also believe Gimeno took the boat he allegedly used to dump their bodies at sea on a ‘test run’ around 6pm the same day.
The father-of-two was filmed on CCTV carrying the sports bags he allegedly stuffed his daughters’ bodies into from his Audi A3 to his boat at a marina in Santa Cruz.
The empty vessel, minus the anchor, was discovered off Puertito de Guimar on the east corner of the island just over 10 miles south of Santa Cruz hours after he and the girls vanished.
Opened medicine packets containing sedatives and muscle relaxants were discovered in Gimeno’s living room, Catalan newspaper El Periodico said.
It emerged after the abduction that the father had threatened Ms Zimmerman, who is divorced from Gimeno, over her new relationship with Belgian Eric Domb.
He is said to have beaten up Mr Bomb, 60, before snatching his daughters in an incident Ms Zimmerman and the assault victim decided not to report to police for fear it would inflame an already-tense situation.
Investigators on the Spanish Oceonagraphic Institute’s vessel are searching the depths of the ocean for the bodies of fugitive Tomas Gimeno and his one-year-old daughter Anna
A frantic appeal to locate the girls had been launched on social media following their disappearance on April 27.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among those who highlighted Ms Zimmerman’s plight, writing: ‘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.’
A minute’s silence took place for Anna and Olivia at midday on Friday in Santa Cruz, ahead of fingerprint tests which confirmed the child’s body found on the ocean bed a mile off the Tenerife coast was that of Olivia.
Jose Manuel Bermudez, the mayor of Tenerife capital Santa Cruz, said: ‘There are no words to express the terrible desolation I feel.
‘From respect at the mother’s pain and with all the caution the terrible news that is reaching us deserves, I want to express to the family all the solidarity of the citizens of Santa Cruz.’
The Canary Islands’ president Angel Victor Torres added: ‘Weeks hoping to receive hopeful news and today we receive the worst possible, one that freezes our soul, about the little girls from Tenerife, Anna and Olivia.
‘Our condolences, encouragement and strength for their mum Beatriz, her family and friends. Canary Islands devastated.’
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said: ‘I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the mother of little Anna and Olivia, who disappeared in Tenerife, following the terrible news we have just heard.
‘I send a hug and my love and that of my whole family, who today show solidarity with Beatriz and her loved ones.’
Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero added: ‘There are no words to accompany Beatriz at these moments of terrible pain.
‘This violence committed against mothers to hit them where it hurts the most is a question of state.
‘We are here for what is needed.’