THE parents of a seven-year-old in care were arrested in Nerja after removing him from the Children’s Protection Service.
The couple, aged 27 and 39, no longer had custody of the child, but were allowed an unsupervised visit at the end of December last year.
Police began looking for them when they failed to return the boy to the Asociacion Hogar Abierto centre where he lived.
The father’s extended family and their constant changes of address made it difficult to locate the couple and the child, the regional authorities admitted afterwards.
While the child was missing neither he nor the parents received medical treatment, no attempt was made to enrol him at a school and there was no contact with Social Service, leaving no official paper trail to track them down.
Finally, police found the parents and child in an isolated house in Nerja which the couple had rented months before they took the child, leading investigators to suspect they had been planning his disappearance for some time.
The boy has now been returned to the care of the Children’s Protection Service.