THE mother of two children allegedly killed by their own father and dumped at sea has said she wishes “she had been holding their hands when they died.”
Beatriz Zimmerman's daughter Olivia, six, was found lifeless in a sports bag more than 3,000 feet underwater off Tenerife last Thursday, next to a second holdall which was empty.
Olivia's younger sister Anna, one, along with suspected killer father Tomas Antonio Gimeno, are still missing but are presumed dead.
Now, her mother Beatriz has released an emotional letter where she paid tribute to her "little angels."
In it she called the actions of her former partner Tomas Antonio Gimeno, 37 as “the most monstrous act a person can commit”, saying she hoped Olivia and Anna’s deaths had not been in vain and would lead to more protection, education and respect for children.
She added: “They are now two angels who came into the world to teach a great lesson at the cost of their own lives.”
Beatriz, she had accepted Anna was also dead as she thanked people who had helped by spreading her SOS messages and praying.
“As a mother it pains 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.
“But that couldn’t happen because Tomas wanted me to suffer looking for them without rest and for the remainder of my life. That was the reason he left me alive.”
Gimeno had vanished after warning ex-partner Beatriz Zimmerman she would never see her children again after she began a new relationship with a wealthy Belgian.
A judge had previously stated that the father's murder had caused Beatriz "inhumane pain."
Judge Priscila Espinosa Guterriez, in a nine-page written ruling, said evidence from the April 27 disappearance of the trio showed he did not plan "to snatch them from their mum and take them to an unknown place".
Instead, he planned "to kill them in a planned and premeditated fashion to cause his ex-partner inhumane pain", she announced.
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.”
The judge ruled that the investigation should now be transferred to a specialist domestic violence court.
She also revealed that Gimeno had taken the boat he allegedly used to dump their bodies at sea on a “test run” around 6pm the same day.
Court officials announced on Friday that six-year-old Olivia had died of pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, filling numerous air sacs.
Olivia was at a tennis class when her dad did the test run.
The dad-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 the Tenerife capital 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.
A Spanish Oceanographic Institute search vessel is continuing to comb the ocean bed in the area where Oliva’s body was found.
A diving bottle and duvet cover belonging to the youngsters’ father was discovered last Monday more than 3,000 feet underwater near the same area.
Police investigators have concluded that Gimeno allegedly drugged and killed the girls at his home before putting them in separate holdalls, taking their bodies out to sea and tossing them into the ocean with the anchor attached.
Opened medicine packets containing sedatives and muscle relaxants were discovered in his living room, Catalan newspaper El Periodico said.
It emerged after the abduction that Gimeno had threatened his estranged wife over her new relationship with an older Belgian man named locally as Eric Domb.
He is said to have beaten up Eric, 60, before snatching his daughters.
The alleged attack was not reported to cops for fear it would inflame an already-tense situation.
A minute’s silence took place for Anna and Olivia at midday on Friday in Santa Cruz.
Jose Manuel Bermudez, the mayor of Tenerife capital Santa Cruz, said after the gruesome discovery: “There are no words to express the terrible desolation I feel.
“From respect for 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.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among celebs who used their social media accounts to highlight the girls’ disappearance in the days after they went missing.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service - available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]
SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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