The horrified family of a man who disappeared several days ago say the human remains found in a shark’s belly are those of their missing relative.
Diego Barria was last seen near the coast of Argentina’s southern Chubut province riding his all-terrain jeep late on February 18.
But early on Sunday morning (February 26), eight days after Mr Barria's disappearance, two fishermen who had caught three school sharks in the waters close to where the father-of-three's ATV was found went to the local coastguard to report a grisly discovery.
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Daniela Millatruz, the police officer leading the search for the missing man, said the fishermen had caught the ocean predators and “when they were cleaning them they found human remains in one of them”.
Mr Barria’s damaged ATV was found abandoned on a beach near Rocas Coloradas on February 20.
However was no sign of Mr Barria and an intense search began to try to locate him. After the discovery of the human remains, family members were able to identify them as belonging to Mr Barria "due to a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains", Ms Millatruz said.
Officials are continuing to investigate what exactly happened to Mr Barria.
"We presume Diego had an accident and we're investigating if there was a vehicle involved," Ms Millatruz added.
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The remains will also undergo DNA testing to officially confirm that they belong to Mr Barria, Cristian Ansaldo, who heads up the police department in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, said.
The school shark in which the human remains were found measured around 1.5 meters (4.9ft), Mr Ansaldo said.
The most likely theory that investigators are currently working with is that Mr Barria "had an accident and was dragged", Mr Ansaldo said, noting there had been a strong tidal surge the weekend when he disappeared.
"My heart went with you! I love you forever," Virginia Brugger, who was identified as Mr Barria's partner and had been posting updates on the search on social media, wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
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