Two-year-old Julen Rosello was with his parents, Jose Rosello and Vicky Garcia, in Malaga, Spain, on January 13, when he plummeted at least 30 stories down into an unmarked well.
As his devastated parents painfully wait and cling to hope that he’s still alive, they’re reminded of another tragic loss they suffered in May 2017 with the death of their older son. According to The Washington Post, the parents lost their 3-year-old son, Oliver, who reportedly died of a congenital heart defect.
His parents spoke out this week, expressing their hope that Oliver is now watching over his little brother from heaven.
“Oliver, don’t forget your brother, Julen,” his mother wrote on social media, according to the Express. “You know we’ve been waiting for him for many hours. I know you protect him a lot, my little King.”
The outlet reports that she also posted a picture of a sleeping baby with the caption: “If it’s true that there’s a God up there, help him please. Hold on Julen.”
According to Spain’s The Local, the grieving father told reporters that “the well was covered with two stones. When I saw him close to it I ran after him. Then I saw my cousin, who was closer to Julen, fall to the ground.”
He then rushed to the hole, heard him cry, and “then I couldn’t hear him anymore.”
Rosello added: All I could say to him was “Julen, be calm, Daddy loves and your little brother (the couple’s deceased child) is going to help us.”
As the parents and community continue to pray, miners continue to dig. On Thursday, officials went down a new 60-meter (197 ft.) parallel shaft to start digging across to the well, according to Reuters.
“Members of the Mines Rescue Brigade sent from Asturias (region) have just accessed the vertical well to start excavation … in the search for Julen,” regional government representative Alfonso Celis said at the site, according to the news outlet.
NewsSky reports that after 100 emergency workers couldn’t get to the boy on their own, they now have to use to explosives to get through a 13-ft. wall of hard rock.
Julen fell down the well while out for a picnic with his family, according to the Associated Press. Julen likely wandered away from his parents that afternoon and slipped into the open hole.
He cried as he fell more than two dozen stories and has not been heard from since, according to the Washington Post. The incident has garnered global attention, with dozens of people gathering in the area to support Julen’s family and hope for his safe rescue.
“We are incredibly motivated to reach him as soon as possible. We’re not bothered by the hours, the tiredness or the lack of sleep,” Ángel Vidal, the lead engineer overseeing the rescue, said on Saturday, according to The Guardian. “We are hopeful that we will reach him as soon as possible and bring him back to his parents.”
Rosello told reporters on Wednesday, according to NBC, that “my wife is broken.”
“We are dead inside,” he said. “But we hope we have an angel to get my son out of there.”