German mother and son found dead in Canary Island cave

The German mother and her son were found in a cave in Tenerife, Spain.
The German mother and her son were found in a cave in Tenerife, Spain. Photo credit: Getty

A German woman and her son have been found dead in a cave on Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.

The 10-year-old boy's father has been arrested in connection to the two deaths, Spain's Civil Guard says.

Spanish news agency Europa Press reported police arrested the 43-year-old German father in an apartment in downtown Adeje. The father refused to tell authorities where the rest of his family was.

The search for the pair began on Tuesday, after hikers found a five-year-old boy alone and covered in dirt near the town of Adeje, according to Europa Press.

Working with a translator, the five-year-old said his father had taken his family to a cave and attacked them, and he escaped after seeing large quantities of blood.

More than 100 emergency workers and police were involved in the search, aided by helicopters. The bodies of the mother and 10-year-old boy were found on Wednesday afternoon, in a cave located between two ravines at the base of Teide volcano, the Civil Guard said.

It is believed the German family had travelled to Tenerife on Monday to visit their father, who reportedly works on the island as a cook.

The five-year-old boy will now be looked after by his maternal grandparents, who have flown to Tenerife to care for him, the Associated Press reports.

Violence against women is a reoccurring issue in Spain, where more than 990 women have been killed by their partner or former partners since 2003, Stuff reports.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedo Sanchez sent condolences to the surviving family via Twitter.

"The worst news arrives from Adeje (Tenerife)," Sanchez wrote. "A woman and her son have been killed. Again the #ViolenciaMachista [gendered violence] hits double. A son of the couple managed to escape. All my love for him, for his family and loved ones. We have to end this."

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