Six-year-old Olivia and one-year-old Anna went missing along with their father Tomas Gimeno, 37, in April (Image: SOLARPIX.COM)
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A dad suspected of kidnapping and killing his two daughters is said to have left 'farewell' messages for family and friends before a girl's body was found in a sports bag in the ocean.
The child's remains were found more than 3,300ft underwater in a sports bag weighed down with an anchor off the coast of Tenerife next to another empty holdall.
Spanish authorities say it is “almost certainly” the body of missing six-year-old Olivia Gimeno, whose one-year-old sister Anna, and dad Tomas Gimeno, 37, are yet to be found nearly two months after the trio vanished, sparking an international manhunt.
The grim discovery was made off the coastline on Thursday about a mile out to sea.
Police in Tenerife are hunting for the girls' missing father Tomas Gimeno, 37
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The girls’ mum Beatriz Zimmerman earlier told of desperate hopes her daughters would be found alive the day before the seabed find.
Authorities said she is being kept informed of developments following the tragic discovery.
Overnight it emerged the anchor used to weigh down the sports holdalls allegedly came from Gimeno’s boat.
The girls' mother launched a desperate international missing persons campaign in hopes of finding her daughters alive
The vessel had been found empty off Puerto de Guimar, roughly 10 miles south of the Tenerife capital Santa Cruz in the hours after he and the girls vanished.
The dad-of-two became the focus of an International manhunt after disappearing with his daughters on April 27, and warning his estranged wife in a “farewell” message she would never seen them again.
Police found no evidence to support the theory Gimeno had fled abroad with the girls – a hope kept alive by the children’s distraught mum amid reports he could have taken them to Africa or South America.
A search vessel was on Friday continuing to comb the ocean bed in the area where the child’s body was found.
The girls have not been seen since April
A diving bottle and duvet cover authorities said belonged to the youngsters’ father had also been discovered on Monday near the seabed search area where the child's remains were discovered.
Overnight Spanish media reported claims investigators suspect Gimeno drugged and killed his daughters at his home before putting them in separate bags, taking their bodies out to sea and throwing them into the ocean with the anchor attached.
Opened medicine packets containing sedatives and muscle relaxants were allegedly discovered in his living room, Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported.
Gimeno had allegedly been seen on CCTV loading several bags onto his boat at Marina Tenerife in Santa Cruz the night the girls went missing.
A security guard said he had seen a man fitting his description alone, with no sign of the youngsters, the report claimed.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez was among celebs who highlighted the girls’ disappearance in the days after they went missing.
Georgina, 27, said in an emotional post to her 24 million Instagram followers shortly after the mystery disappearance: “I hope with all my heart that the girls are found safe and well and can hug their mum again soon.”
The dad-of-two's boat was found with no one aboard in the hours after the trio's disappearance
A minute’s silence was due to take place for Anna and Olivia at midday Friday in Santa Cruz, as the remains found in the sports bag are forensically analysed.
A spokesman for the investigating magistrate in charge of the judicial probe into the case said on Thursday evening said the body was "almost certainly" Olivia's.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Tenerife confirmed the remains had been found in the search for the missing girls.
Santa Cruz mayor Jose Manuel Bermudez reacting to the discovery on Thursday, saying: “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.”
Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres tweeted: “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 tweeted: “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.”