A family already hit by tragedy

Vicky, Julen, Óliver  and José.
Vicky, Julen, Óliver and José. / SUR
  • "I know he's down there; let no one doubt that." Julen's father José has spoken out about what happened on Sunday

He's barely slept or changed clothes since Sunday. He, alongside wife Vicky, have spent every passing hour as close to their son as possible. "Where else am I going to be?" José told SUR.

He explained that the family were in the area because his cousin's boyfriend had bought the land there and they were celebrating the impending start to construction.

"We were making a paella and the kids were playing just a couple of metres away. I went to get a couple of branches then I saw the boy [Julen] starting to run," said the 29-year-old.

"My cousin went after him and saw how he fell straight into the shaft, feet first, arms in the air. I was right behind and I heard his cries. I told him not to worry because his 'papá' was there and his brother would look after him."

Tragically, the family from El Palo in Malaga, suffered the loss of their first son, Óliver, in 2017. They had gone out for the day at the nearby beach and he dropped dead having suffered a heart attack which has still not been explained. Neighbours and close family friends say that it took "a very long time" for them to get themselves back together.

"My heart was broken into a thousand pieces," says José. "Now it has been broken into three thousand."

José and the family were already aware of the well. "He [his cousin's partner] had asked them to do it to see if there was water. There wasn't and they didn't cover it up as they said they had. We knew we had to be careful."