Spanish police announced they had found a body, which fit the description of the boy missing at least since Tuesday – though how the boy died remains uncertain.
The police refused to confirm it was the boy, but daily Bild reported the clothes matched what the boy was wearing when he disappeared.
His mother, named by Bild as Tanja K. from North Rhine-Westphalia, was found on Tuesday in the nearby town of Espiel, north of Cordoba, in a state of shock and disorientation, suffering from cuts, bruises and dehydration.
Prior to that, the boy and his mother had been seen camping, swimming and fishing at the Puente Nuevo lake. Tanja K. told Spanish police she had driven a week ago with her son from Germany into Spain. But she was unable to explain her condition, nor give her son's whereabouts.
Bild reported that local residents had seen the mother and the boy camping and fishing on Sunday and had also seen a boy walking hand-in-hand with a bald man.
Other witnesses said she asked residents for help on Monday because her car had broken down. The car was found late Tuesday near a religious shrine.
Spanish police had been searching since Tuesday for the boy, eventually using divers, sniffer dogs and a helicopter.
Temperatures in the region soar to 40 degrees Celsius at this time of year.