World News

Rescuers in Spain find 'biological traces' of missing boy believed to have fallen into well

Posted January 16, 2019 1:51 p.m. EST

— Rescuers have found "biological traces" of a 2-year-old boy who fell down a 360-foot well three days ago in southern Spain.

The toddler was in the countryside with his family near the village of Totalán in the southern province of Málaga on Sunday afternoon when he apparently fell into the well, which is nine inches in diameter.

"We have found biological traces inside the well that belong to the minor, Julen," said Maria Gamez, a central government official. "Hence we are sure that the little boy is in there."

The boy's father, José Roselló, told reporters on Wednesday that the family was "not going to give up" and have "hope that he is not dead."

"I feel like we have [been] here for months," Roselló said, adding that he and his wife feel "broken."

Rescuers are racing against time to save the boy. The team, which includes mining rescuers from the northern region of Asturias, are digging horizontal and vertical tunnels that will intersect at the spot where Julen is believed to have fallen.

Officials told CNN that digging began in the mountainous area on Tuesday and could take up to 48 hours to be completed.

Firefighters previously found a bag of sweets in the well, AFP reports. But two cameras that were lowered into the shaft failed to capture any trace of Julen.

The well was bored in December during efforts to find groundwater, but was not covered or protected, AFP reports.

According to the Spanish daily El Pais, Julen's cousin saw the boy disappear into the hole on Sunday.