A BOY who has been missing in Italy for 16 days after mysteriously vanishing with his mother has been found dead having been eaten by animals, cops say.
Four-year-old Gioele Mondello’s body was found near a coastal motorway in Sicily after his mum’s “unrecognisable” corpse was found near their abandoned car.
The boy’s mother, Viviana Parisi, 43, who was a DJ from Turin, was last seen on the morning of August 3 climbing over a motorway barrier after a minor collision in a tunnel.
Her body was found five days later in a nearby forest close to Caronia at the foot of a high-voltage pylon.
Italian police said they were only able to identify her by the wedding ring on her hand because of her badly decomposed corpse.
CCTV cameras showed Gioele in the car earlier but witnesses gave diverging statements on whether Parisi was carrying her son with her when she climbed over the barrier or not.
After a huge search involving sniffer dogs and drones, the boy’s body was found some 182 yards from the main Messina to Palermo road, where Parisi had been involved in an accident.
Investigators are probing whether they were killed a murder-suicide or attacked by wild animals.
Cops believe the child’s body parts were most probably dragged by animals or stray dogs and were found 300 yards feet from the place where his mother’s body was found.
The child’s head was found in a state of decomposition and almost a skull.
Clothes nearby probably belonged to Gioele, police said.
Angelo Cavallo, the chief prosecutor of Patti, told reporters: “These remains are compatible with a three to four year-old child.
“We will continue to work and we will get to the bottom of this sad story.”
The boy’s mum had reportedly suffered a recent psychological breakdown, and her condition had been reportedly aggravated by Italy’s coronavirus lockdown.
But her husband, Daniele Mondello, insisted she had been calm and well on the morning of her disappearance.
She had told him she was going to Milazzo, a town in the Metropolitan City of Messina, in order to purchase some things together with her son, but after that, it is unknown what happened.