Jose de la Rosa (left) and Enrique Garrido, the two gardeners who were asked for help by one of the dead woman's children.

21-12-2016Alejandro Sepulveda

Social services say that they are trying to locate the father of the three children who on Tuesday were found living with their dead mother in Palma.

The social services minister, Fina Santiago, explained this morning that the father had been "missing" for quite some time and that the authorities had taken action to protect the welfare of the children some weeks ago after the school had reported their absenteeism.

Santiago stressed that all the correct steps had been taken and that the church the mother used to attend was also contacted because she had been "avoiding" social services and rejecting any assistance.

However, the minister added that there are no excuses for what has happened and that lessons have been learnt and improvements to the social services will be made. "But it is extremely difficult to work with and try and help someone who does not want any assistance." Palma's social welfare councillor, Merce Borras, also emphasised that all the necessary measures had been taken and that the town hall had been in touch with other organisations in an attempt to help the mother.

"The alarm bells began ringing when the children had not been to school for ten days. We were all doing what we could but it appears that she was in a position of 'social isolation' and that simply increased her vulnerability."

The children aged 5, 10 and 11 will remain in the custody of the Council of Majorca until either the father is found or a more permanent situation is found for them.


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