A three-year-old boy reported missing by his British mother a week ago has been found dead inside a burned-out car in Portugal with the body of his father found nearby in a suspected murder-suicide.
The child’s body was found on Sunday near the village of Santa Margarida da Serra, a remote mountainous area about 80 miles south of Lisbon.
The corpse of his German father was found nearby with gunshot wounds to the head, named by Portuguese media as Clemens Weisshaar, 44, a well-known fashion designer and architect. The child was named Tasso.
The British mother was named in local media as Phoebe Arnold. She is a stylist and creative consultant who has worked for numerous celebrity clients, including Paloma Faith, and previously served as fashion editor at GARAGE Magazine.
Arnold also previously worked with Katie Grand at POP Magazine and LOVE. She has contributed to several international publications, including Vogue Japan, and styled for fashion brands such as Sibling, Iceberg, and Francesco Scognamiglio.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British-German dual nationality child has sadly died in Portugal.
“Our consular staff have been in regular contact with the child’s family and local authorities since they were first reported to be missing and we will continue to support them at this very difficult time.”
Portuguese police had been searching for the boy since November 1 when his mother reported him missing.
Investigators believe that the father went to collect his son from his mother and did not return the child.
Police believe he may have killed his son, then set fire to the car to hide the body before turning the gun on himself.
The father was believed to live in the Serra da Grandola, a rural area south of the Portuguese capital.
It is thought the pair had been dead for around two days but this has not been confirmed.
A post-mortem investigation is underway to establish the exact time of death and the cause of the boy’s death.
Reports in the Jornal de Noticias, a Portuguese newspaper, suggested that the couple were married but separated in July. It is believed the mother lived in Lisbon with her son.
Reports in the media suggested that the boy did not have direct contact with his father for several weeks.
However, the father returned to Lisbon at the end of October and promised to return his son to the mother on November 1.
When the pair failed to appear, she raised the alarm.
The bodies were found on a piece of land which the couple had bought and intended to build a house on.
The Portuguese Judicial Police have opened the investigation but have not commented on the case.