Two-year-old Julen Rosello was exploring an estate in Totalan, off of Spain’s southern coast, when he wandered away from his parents and fell into a deep well. Although the opening to the well was very small, it was just wide enough for his small body to slip into. He plummeted nearly 30 stories down, according to People.
For 13 grueling days, hundreds of rescue volunteers came together in an attempt to save Julen’s life. However, the process would prove much more difficult than they expected. The hole was 360-feet-deep and far too narrow for any adult to navigate. Because of the difficult terrain, high-powered equipment was brought in to construct tunnels in order to locate the child. The search team found a few strands of the boy’s hair and a candy box he’d been carrying when he fell, but no Julen. Although they planned to reach the boy days ago, the rescue effort was slowed down when the team hit a wall of dense rock. Even with the assistance of engineers, firefighters, and emergency response workers, it simply wasn’t possible to reach Julen in time. Unfortunately, the boy was found dead on Saturday.
Alfonso Rodriguez Gomez de Celis, a central government representative for the region of Andalusia, announced the heartbreaking news on Twitter. “Unfortunately at 1:25 a.m. the rescue team reached the spot where they were looking for Julen and found the lifeless body of the little one. My condolences to the family,” he wrote.
Although the odds of finding Julen alive steadily decreased as the search grew longer and longer, his parents refused to give up hope. The Rosellos had already lost another son to a medical condition just a year prior to the incident. “My wife is broken,” Jose Rosello, Julen’s father, said last Wednesday.
“We are dead inside. But we hope we have an angel to get my son out of there.”
The Rosellos refused to leave the scene of the search effort, even sleeping in a car next to the well. They prayed for a miracle, hoping their late son was watching over young Julen from heaven. “Oliver, don’t forget your brother, Julen,” his mother wrote on social media. “You know we’ve been waiting for him for many hours. I know you protect him.”
Today, the entire community of Totalan mourns the loss of the toddler. Hundreds of neighbors and friends have reached out to offer support to the family during this tragic time.