German identifies body of son found in Spain: report

24th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The father of a five-year-old German boy who went missing in Spain earlier this week has identified a body found in a reservoir as that of his son, Spanish media reported Saturday.

The man, who was recently separated from the boy's mother, confirmed that the corpse was his son as feared shortly after he arrived in Espiel in southwestern Spain on Friday from Dortmund in Germany, regional daily newspaper El Dia de Cordoba reported.

Contacted by AFP, local police would not confirm the report, saying only that an autopsy would be carried out on Saturday to determine the cause of death.

Police found the boy's body in a remote mountainous area near Espiel, a few kilometres (miles) north of Cordoba, on Friday, three days after his mother reported his disappearance when she was found in a distraught state at a petrol station.

The woman was disoriented and had bruises and scratches, as well as signs of dehydration. She told police she left their home in Herdecke in Germany by car with her son about a week ago but she was unable to say what happened later.

One of the hypotheses which the police are working on is that the mother and child suffered some sort of accident while hiking in the mountains and she left the boy behind while she went to seek help.

Police found two rucksacks, a large and a small one, as well as several empty bottles of water near the boy's body, which did not show any signs of violence, the newspaper said.

Temperatures in the region soar to 40 degrees Celsius (more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit) at this time of year.

Police have not been able to find any records of the mother and child having checked into area hotels and they believe the pair were sleeping in their car.

The car was found late Tuesday near a religious shrine.

Witnesses told police they saw the woman on a fishing trip to the local Puente Nuevo lake on Sunday with her son. Others said she asked residents for help on Monday because her car had broken down.

The woman remains at the Reina Sofia hospital in Cordoba. She "almost certainly" will not be discharged until Monday, the newspaper reported citing local health service officials.

© 2010 AFP

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