Starting tomorrow, the Provincial Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will host the trial against Thomas Handrick, the 46-year-old German citizen accused of murdering his wife, Shylvia, 39, and their son Jakob, 10, on April 23, 2019. , in a cave in Adeje and of having also tried to end the life of his second son, Jonas, 7 years old, who managed to flee and who would be key in clarifying an event that shocked Spanish and German public opinion.
The bodies appeared with multiple craniocephalic fractures in a cave in the rural area of Hoyo del Agua, where Thomas took the family in a blue Volkswagen Caddy rented days before under the false pretense of giving them some Easter gifts that he had supposedly hidden in a cave of the mount, chosen point to execute his macabre plan.
Shylvia, who was separated from her partner although without a formalized divorce, traveled to Tenerife the day before with the two children from the German city of Halle to enjoy the Easter holidays. That day, the family prepared sandwiches for a picnic and went into the rugged landscape of Ifonche, in the heights of Adeje.
Arriving at the grotto where he had told them he hid the surprise – a place carefully chosen so that no one would hear the screams of the victims and facilitate their escape – Thomas revealed his trap. He took two large stones and began to rage against Shylvia, first, and Jakob later. Little Jonas began to flee from the scene of horror. He did it in the opposite direction from which he had arrived in the car driven by his father and through the bush, a decision that would probably save his life.
Terrified, the little boy ran for four kilometers towards the coast between the steep ravines of prickly pears, bushes and caves until he reached the neighborhood of La Quinta, where a neighbor located him who contacted a 59-year-old Dutch citizen, Annelies, a resident in this nucleus, who speaks German. She took the little boy in and became his adoptive mother and confidant within 24 hours. The youngest explained to Annelies that he moved away from the road they had come along so that his father would not find him.
Jonas’s chilling story, which would be decisive for the rapid clarification of the facts and the prompt arrest of the alleged perpetrator, immediately activated a police operation of almost a hundred troops that combed the area between the Burro and Infierno ravines. Hours later, they located the lifeless bodies of Sylvia and Jakob.
When the Civil Guard agents went to arrest Thomas in the house where he lived and spent long periods of time, in the urban area of Adeje, they found him sleeping. He had some scratches on his body and a wound on his right cheekbone, probably caused by the victims in their attempt to defend themselves. Sources from the Armed Institute confirmed that, while he was in the dungeons, Thomas never asked about his son Jonas.
According to the order to open the oral trial issued by the Court of Violence against Women number 1 of Arona, the accused knew that the life of his youngest son was in danger and “he left him to his fate in the belief that I would die before getting help.”
Thomas Handrick is charged with three counts of murder, one of them attempted. The Prosecutor’s Office requests a reviewable permanent prison sentence.