On the left, the Civil Guard inspects Tomás Gimeno's ship in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, found adrift on March 29.
On the right, Gimeno.
In the image that everyone has seen, Tomás Gimeno appears with a few days beard, short hair and a yellow sports shirt next to an URGENT sign and the SOS Disappeared website. A 37-year-old from Tenerife, he is the most wanted person since he kidnapped his two daughters, Anna and Olivia, ages one and six, on April 27. Nobody has seen this man again, who works in family businesses and comes from a wealthy family well known on the island, owner of banana plantations and even a golf course, Los Palos, in Arona, one of the main Canary Islands tourist municipalities.
It has been 11 days since they were last seen. There are still many unknowns to solve. The investigation focuses on two hours, those that elapse between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on the last Tuesday in April, since Gimeno leaves her parents' house with the girls, goes to the farm and then loads packages onto her pleasure boat. Experts agree that it was almost impossible that the alarms in the environment would have gone off if the most terrible hypothesis is finally proven, that they are lifeless. There is no psychological profile associated with such behavior, but the analysis of two forensic experts consulted by EL PAÍS does indicate that there are circumstances that, combined with some features, may have worked as a trigger in Tomás Gimeno's head.This newspaper has also contacted five close friends to make an approach to their behavior.
That Tuesday night, Gimeno spoke five times by phone with his ex-wife, Beatriz Zimmermann, 35. The two met when they were still in school and started dating in their twenties. They have been separated since the summer of 2020. According to the statement of the complaint that she filed that day, the woman goes to look for the girls at her ex's house and cannot find them. He calls you the first time at 9:00 p.m. He tells her that he is having dinner with them and that he will take them home. An hour later Zimmermann still has no news. On a new call, he changes the tone: he tells her that he will never see them again, not to worry, that he will take care of them. It is repeated at 10:30 p.m., and again, 10 minutes later. At 11:45 p.m. the phone comes out as off or out of coverage. In the last call, already at dawn,they have a last conversation "in which they talk about their relationship." As Zimmermann explained to the Civil Guard, that night his friends and close circle also received "a farewell message."
The Civil Guard registers Gimeno's house in the municipality of Candelaria (Tenerife).
Ramón de la Rocha / EFE
The Gimeno Bello are regulars of the Real Club Náutico de Tenerife, one of the social clubs of the
In addition to her parents, Gimeno has two sisters who also work and live on the island, but relationships with them are "not very fluid," according to a friend.
Despite this, the closest family members are silent, confident that good news may arrive.
As the days go by, however, the most dramatic hypothesis gains strength. Investigators have searched up to three times his home, as well as his Audi and his boat. They are the three key scenarios. The investigators know, from the statements of the neighbors, that he was with the girls at home that afternoon. They know from the security cameras of the Marina Tenerife marina that later he left with suitcases and bags that he took to his pleasure boat, about six meters long. The boat was found the next day, empty and with traces of Gimeno's own blood. Anna's restraint chair was also found floating. The main hypothesis of the researchers has led them to search especially in the sea. In the coming days will be added to the search for helicopters, aircraft, patrol boats, ship and divers,a sonar that will sweep the seabed, reports
Patricia Ortega Dolz
In the report there is a sequence that called the attention of the forensic Miguel Lorente, professor of Legal Medicine at the University of Granada and former delegate of the Government against Gender Violence, and that leads to the conclusion that "he had it very well thought out."
It is the fact that Tomás Gimeno said in the first call from his ex-wife that he was having dinner with the girls and an hour later that she would never see them again.
“There is no sense in such a drastic change of story and with that implicit violence without something having happened in that time.
That could have been said the first time, unless he did not want to alert her so that she could not react then.
He also sees “very meaningful” goodbye messages to his parents and friends.
The professor of Psychology of Violence at the University of Barcelona, Antonio Andrés-Pueyo, gives more clues: “The most likely option in actions that can lead to death or suicide is to make a final decision, since the author believes with great conviction that there is no other way out, that the only solution is death. Even knowing that it is not correct, despite the fact that it is morally inadequate, which will also cause harm to innocent victims, but the aggressor believes that there is no other way to resolve this conflict, ”he says. To get to this extreme - and extremely unusual - point, the specific characteristics of a person are not as important as the circumstances and their ideas: “There is always an exceptional combination of personal risk factors and triggers,not a prototypical profile of murderer or abuser ”.
Even so, experts do see significant the fact that he was quarrelsome or was looking for fights - a probable lack of empathy in Lorente's opinion - or that he had a bad relationship with his ex's new partner, whom he privately threatened, "half as a joke, half seriously ", with the possibility of" breaking his mouth ", according to a person close to the man. A mutual friend of Zimmermann and Gimeno claims to have knowledge of some episodes of violence, both at night and even against members of her own family.
The missing person has, in turn, a previous episode that points to gender violence. Civil Guard sources explain that the ex-wife communicated verbal threats from Gimeno in December, the content of which has not transpired, although she did not finally file a complaint. These threats were not repeated, according to the ex officio monitoring dictated by the VioGén system carried out by the armed institute in March.
From his years at the Colegio Hispano Inglés, an exclusive private school in the heart of Santa Cruz, a classmate remembers Gimeno as a “somewhat despotic” young man and a bad student who liked to “play practical jokes”. "He was one of those you didn't want to be messed with." After finishing school, he studied Business Administration and Tourism at a private university on the island. From his father, Tomás Gimeno Bello, who carved out a discreet career in the world of rallying, he inherited not only the name, but also a taste for competition.
The son added to this competitive spirit an element of confrontation that was used both in sports and in relationships.
A very good paddle tennis player, says a person with whom he shared the track, he was good at other sports such as soccer and motor racing: "He was one of those who got angry frequently."
Off the slopes, he showed a tendency to “show off little
”, explains a close
of the time: “He liked to like and dominate, and he had wickers for that: bearing, money, cars… Everything around him he considered his private preserve ”.
He had known his ex-wife since school days.
She was a student at the also exclusive German School, the same center where Olivia, the eldest daughter, now studies.
They lost a second child and, a year ago, little Anna was born.
Anna, one year old, and Olivia, six years old.
SOSMISSED / Europa Press
An old friend with whom he has been in frequent contact in recent months assures that the separation affected him a lot.
Nor did he accept that she remade her life with someone else.
After the breakup, he remained in the residence they shared in the town of Igueste de Candelaria and she moved nine kilometers away to a house in the coastal town of Radazul.
They organized the visits by mutual agreement, because they did not have a regulatory agreement or a court ruling.
Two relatives relate the discomfort that the relationship of Beatriz Zimmermann's new boyfriend with his two daughters meant for the father. Especially with regard to Anna, who was barely a month-old baby at the time of the breakup and with whose birth, according to these relatives, her father associates the beginning of the collapse of the relationship.
In this sense, forensics agree that, while waiting for more information, “hatred for the new partner, the desire to take revenge on his ex-wife and the fear of losing his role as father have been able to intensely feed the idea of acting as a way as serious as it has done ”, considers Andrés-Pueyo. In these cases, the abuser “seeks a moral justification: on the one hand, the damage he has suffered, as when the abusers say 'I hit him because he is against me'. And, on the other, the humiliation component: they feel questioned as men because they have been left, and the property component is added in relation to their children. They feel deprived of the idea of fatherhood, ”says Lorente.
But experts also remember that planning violent behavior of this severity is one thing that happens in the realm of fantasy, and it is quite another and unusual to end up doing it for real: “Some people program it, but never do it. To take the step there must be a trigger, such as a discussion or some new information, "says Andrés-Pueyo, who adds the fact that it is practically impossible that the alarms would have gone off before the kidnapping:" The possibility of this happening is so low, that it is very difficult for anyone to give credit to these threats or ideas, "he says. “It happens, but it is very difficult for him to touch you. It's unpredictable".