— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) August 18, 2017
For a minute, it seemed as though there might be one small happy ending amid the tragedy of the Barcelona attack.
Julian Cadman, 7, had been missing since Thursday, when a terrorist drove a white van through the Las Rambla pedestrian walk in the city. At least 13 people were killed and 130 wounded. (Hours later, terrorists carried out a similar act in the seaside town of Cambrils, killing at least one person.) Julian was born in Britain, but his family moved to Sydney three years ago. He was in Barcelona with his mother for a wedding.
In the hours after the attack, Julian's family posted desperate pleas on Facebook, begging for information about his whereabouts. Julian's father, Andrew Cadman, who had stayed back in Sydney for work, arrived in Barcelona on Saturday.
Andrew Cadman, the dad of 7 year old Julian Cadman arrives in Barcelona. Went straight to forensic institute. pic.twitter.com/Crtxhp4UIv
— Jacquelin Magnay (@jacquelinmagnay) August 19, 2017
And briefly, it seemed as if things might turn out okay: The Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that the 7-year-old was found in the hospital. But authorities quickly rejected that report, calling it “false.”
Then, Sunday morning, Catalan police confirmed that Julian was among the 13 fatalities in the Barcelona attack. Members of his family said they would “remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts."
“Julian was a much loved and adored member of our family," the family said in a statement. “He was so energetic, funny and cheeky, always bringing a smile to our faces … We are so blessed to have had him in our lives and will remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts."
In the days after the attack, witnesses have helped piece together what happened to the Cadmans.
Pharmacist Fouad Bakkali told the Daily Mail that he was with Julian's mother, Jumarie Cadman, in the minutes after the attack. He had been working behind the counter at his shop when he heard a bang. More than 50 people quickly crammed into his small business, he said. Police carried the wounded inside, including Jumarie.
Bakkali yanked down a metal gate at the front of the store, than turned his attention to Cadman. She appeared to have broken her legs and suffered a large head wound, he said, but she was conscious. Bakkali told reporters that he sat with her until help arrived. “I was at her side, helping her, telling her, 'Be calm, don't worry,'" he told the Daily Mail. “She was asking all the time about her little boy. She asked me, 'Where is my son?' She told me he was 7 years old.”
Another man, Harry Athwal, told the Mirror that he was at Las Rambla during the attack and that he waited with a young boy struck by the van, trying to render first aid. “I was stroking his hair and in floods of tears but I stayed with him, I sat there because I was not going to leave this child in the middle of the road,” Athwal told the Mirror. “To me, he looked like my own son. He was my son’s age, seven or eight. I just ran my hands through his hair, it was about comforting him.”
This post has been updated.