Julio Otero Fernandez: Boy, 8, dragged and mauled to death by crocodile in front of horrified parents
'The hardest thing for my wife was seeing the crocodile float with my son's body,' said father of Julio Otero Fernández
Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised
LIMON, COSTA RICA: A 8-year-old boy has tragically died after being mauled by a crocodile while his horrified parents witnessed the heartbreaking ordeal. Julio Otero Fernández was visiting the Matina River in Limón, Costa Rica, near his home and paddling in the shallow, knee-level water before he was killed by a dreadful crocodile that dragged him under the water.
Authorities are looking for the 8-year-old's body but sadly, it has still not been found as they face difficulty searching in recent days due to heavy rain. Julio's parents Don Julio and Margini Fernández Flores now plan to move away to Nicaragua in a bid to protect their other four children, aged between 3 and 16, according to Daily Mail. The heartbroken parents have also begged the authorities to find the reptile and sacrifice it.
While Julio was paddling in the shallow water, the reptile dragged him under the water and took him further, and tragically mauled him to death. His father Don Julio said, "The hardest thing for my wife was seeing the crocodile float with my son's body." His mom Margini Fernández added, "It is impossible to continue living in Matina because in every corner of the house we find something that reminds us of Julito, that causes us a lot of pain. We can't be here, because we spend every time remembering how nice it was to have him here with us. It is very difficult for us, so we are going to have to get out of here."
"I am not going to stay here, because just as they protect those animals, they are capable of leaving the river to attack more people and the truth is that it is scary that something like this will happen again." She also added that her "other children are acting strong but one realizes that they are sad." "Whenever we remember what happened, it is impossible not to shed tears," said late Julio's mother.
The regional director of the Limón Red Cross Tatiana Díaz who is searching for the body said, "One hypothesis is that the animal took the child to the burrow or cave and there are burrows and caves but we don't know which one of them it is, we have tried to cover and visualize some, we have implemented a hook with a strip to see if it pulls something, but to no avail. Since we don't know which cave it is, or which crocodile because there are several, it's very difficult to focus on a single point." "We know that there are crocodiles and burrows, but we don't have a notion or a pattern to work on," she added.