A baby’s body that washed up on a Spanish beach near the Mediterranean city of Tarragona a week ago is that of a migrants’ daughter from a shipwreck that killed all 15 people on board in April, police said.
The boat carrying the infant and her parents along with 12 others left northern Algeria on March 21 and sank off Spain’s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean on April 6, Spain’s Guardia Civil police force said in a statement on Tuesday.
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A municipal cleaning crew found the baby’s body in an advanced state of decomposition on July 11 on a beach in Roda de Bera in the northeastern province of Tarragona – about 200km (124 miles) northwest of the island of Mallorca.
The Criminalistics Service identified the girl by matching her genetic material to a database that included the DNA of her mother.
Spanish news channel laSexta, citing the Guardia Civil, said the baby’s body is the eighth recovered from the sunken boat.
Spain is the main gateway for migrants and refugees who are often fleeing from violence or extreme poverty to Europe. Many regularly arrive on Spain’s southern coast from Algeria and Morocco.
According to Spanish migrant charity Walking Borders, the route to Spain’s eastern coast from Algeria has been the second-most deadly in the Mediterranean for migrants and refugees over the past five years, with an estimated 464 people dying in 43 shipwrecks in 2022 alone.
Between January 1 and July 15, a total of 14,021 migrants entered Spain irregularly by sea and land, a 6.5 percent decrease over the same time last year, according to the latest interior ministry figures.