A MASSIVE crocodile ripped off a boy’s head before swallowing him leaving the child’s distraught parents to discover their son’s body in the beast’s stomach.
Julio Otero Fernández, 8, was tragically mauled to death by the 12ft reptile in front of his horrified parents.
The gruesome croc attack happened when the youngster was on a fishing trip with his parents and four siblings in Limón, Costa Rica.
The boy was playing knee-deep in the Matina River when he was attacked on October 30.
One of the boy’s relatives said they saw the large crocodile chomp the boy’s head off before dragging his remains under the water.
His parents, Don Julio Otero and Margini Fernández Flores, watched in horror as their son was dragged out of sight.
According to The Sun The victim’s father said: “The hardest thing for my wife was seeing the crocodile float away with my son’s body.”
An eyewitness said: “It shook him (the child) and ripped off his little head.
“Then it grabbed him again and dragged him under.”
Nearly a month later, on November 26, a hunter tracked the suspected predator and shot it dead before fleeing the scene as it is illegal to kill crocodiles in Costa Rica.
After the mysterious hunter killed the reptile, local residents found the croc’s body and cut it open.
In its stomach, they found human hair and bones- believed to belong to little Julio.
The victim’s mother confirmed that hair and two bones were found inside the animal.
She said: “The crocodile was killed, I don’t know who did it, but they killed it and they found part of my child’s body.
“They found little hairs and bones. The animal is dead, for me it is a great relief that they have killed it.
“I wish they would kill them all so no family ever has to go through pain like this again.”
Julio’s parents moved to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast from Nicaragua four years ago to work on a banana plantation.
The couple vowed to move back to Nicaragua to make sure their other four children, aged between 16 and three years old, are safe from crocodiles and protected in neighbouring Costa Rica.
The boy’s mother said: “It is impossible to continue living in Matina because we find something that reminds us of Julito in every corner of the house. That causes us so much pain.
“I will not stay here because they protect these animals and they are capable of leaving the river to attack more people. The truth is, it’s scary that something like this will happen again.”
The human remains have been passed on to the local authorities to carry out DNA tests.
The results have yet to be announced as the investigation continues.