Rescuers have found the body of a two-year-old boy almost two weeks after he fell down a narrow well in Spain, an official has said.
Julen Rosello fell into the hole on 13 January, while playing in a mountainous area near the town of Totalan, just northeast of the coastal city of Malaga.
His disappearance sparked a massive search which involved hundreds of emergency workers and held the interest of many Spaniards.
But at 1.25am on Saturday, rescuers found “the lifeless body of the little one”, according to the central government’s representative in the southwestern region of Andalusia, Alfonso Rodriguez Gomez de Celis.
Spain’s El Pais reported that Julen’s parents Victoria Garcia and Jose Rosello had been told and were with relatives at the time.
Searchers had faced a difficult task finding the little boy – the hole in the ground was no wider than 25cm (10in) and it went at least 100m (330ft) deep.
But hundreds of people and dozens of businesses came together to do in a few days what would normally have taken months, El Pais reported.
Drilling began on 19 January in the hope that tunnels could be created to reach the youngster, but crews had to resort to explosives on Thursday to get through a four metre wall of hard rock.
Julen’s chances of survival were always slim but residents of Totalan held regular vigils in support of his parents, who also lost another son at the age of three when he suffered a heart attack in 2017.
During the search, the only sign of Julen was several strands of his hair and a bag of sweets he had been carrying when he went missing.
In one of the few media interviews his parents gave before the body was found, Mr Rosello had said the family was “heartbroken” by the long wait but hoping for “a miracle”.
After his body was found, the Spanish Civil Guard wrote on their official Twitter page: “Unfortunately, despite so much effort from so many people, it was not possible (to save him).”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter: “All of Spain feels the infinite sadness of Julen’s family.
“We have followed closely every step to reach him.
“We will always appreciate the tireless effort of those who searched for him during all these days.”
(c) Sky News 2019: Rescuers find body of boy, 2, who fell down well