Father remanded in custody while case is investigated as judicial secrecy order is lifted

Photo: Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga.

Updated 6.30pm: The magistrate in the Arona domestic violence court hearing the case of the man suspected of murdering his former partner and son has lifted the judicial secrecy order and denied bail to the suspect. As of 6pm he was remanded in custody and taken to prison while the investigation is carried out into the case which is being treated as murder or manslaughter, to be clarified in due course, and attempted murder of the child who escaped.  The man refused to plead in Court and spoke only to insist on his need to take medication which had been left in his dwelling, and which was brought immediately.   

Updated 26 April: The child’s father is this morning being processed by the judicial authorities in Tenerife after a search of his dwelling in the centre of Adeje town yesterday. A large police contingent was present to escort him inside while the search was carried out, and local residents, behind barriers set up to keep them a distance away, shouted abuse at the man who was seen fleetingly as he entered the property. Meanwhile, the Canarian Government has confirmed that close family members of the surviving little boy are due to arrive in Tenerife today to take care of him and collaborate as they are able in the police investigation. Needless to say they have been shocked to their core by the tragedy, and have been assisted and counselled from the first moment by German consular authorities.

Updated 7.15pm: Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga has just announced that the awful news is confirmed as a domestic violence killing of a woman and her ten-year-old son. He says “there are no words to express such rage and pain”. The mayor has called a full council meeting tomorrow morning at 11.30am, to be followed at midday by a minute’s silence in front of the Ayuntamiento at the top of Calle Grande in Adeje town “to condemn these terrible murders which have happened in our municipality”. The mayor invites everyone to attend the simple ceremony against this “social blight, sexist violence which continues killing and to which we must put an end”. The mayor expressed all his love to the family and confirmed two days of official mourning in the municipality.

Updated 3.40pm: Tragically, the Guardia Civil has officially announced that the bodies of the German woman and her ten year old son were found at 3.30pm. The case has reached the ears of Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez, who has said that “the worst news has arrived from Adeje (Tenerife). A woman and her son have been killed. Once again a double domestic violence blow.” The PM sent all his love to the surviving son, the wider family and their loved ones. He said that we have to end this!

Here in Tenerife, Canarian President Fernando Clavijo has said that he is stunned by the discovery of the bodies. He expressed thanks, support and confidence in the security agencies involved in the search, and who will now work to clarify the background to and facts of the case as quickly as possible, and ensure that the full weight of the law is brought to bear as appropriate.

Updated 2.20pm: Adeje mayor Fraga has issued a statement this lunchtime from La Quinta, where he is with the security forces.

The main points are as follows:

  • A five year old child was found walking near La Quinta in the mountains of Adeje yesterday afternoon at 5pm “in a state of shock”, he didn’t speak Spanish, was lost.  The persons who found him called a neighbour who spoke German and called the authorities who came and talked to him.
  • It is believed the child had travelled, with his mother and brother (10) from Germany to Adeje to visit their father, who, it is believes, lives in Adeje Town.  They went for a walk from La Quinta yesterday evening.  Something violent occurred between the two adults and the 5 year old ran away.
  • The child is currently in judicial care.  The search for the rest of the family began based on the information given by the child.
  • The “protocol for such a situation was called into action”.  Police, fire brigade, Guardia Civil, helicopters, search dogs.
  • Subsequently the police went to the home of the child’s father where they found him and have detained him.
  • Asked if there was any record here of reports of abuse against any person in  the family the Mayor said that to date there was no record of this.  He also reminded journalists that the only person with information so far was a 5 year old child.   Obviously the questioning of a child has to be done with care.
  • “The child mentioned a cave – but there are lots of caves in the area”.

Original post 24 April: A search and rescue helicopter has joined the Guardia Civil in sweeping the hills of south west Tenerife in the search for a woman and her ten year old son who are missing after her other child, six years old, was discovered wandering in the Ifonche hills: he was disoriented but reported that the three had been taken to a cave in the hills yesterday and assaulted by their father, whom they were visiting. All four are German but the father is resident in Tenerife.

Police have taken the man into custody and are presently investigating the details of the little boy’s story. Meanwhile, the search for his mother and sibling continues with GES helicopter, Guardia Civil and Adeje Policía Local, and Adeje Ayuntamiento’s press office says that mayor Fraga himself is at the centre of operations in La Quinta to see how the search is going.

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