The remains of a man who had went missing in southern Argentina earlier this month after a trip to the beach appear to have been found inside a dogfish shark that was captured by local fishermen.
As reported by the Associated Press, the family of Diego Barria, 32, recognized his remains due to a tattoo that was visible, Daniela Millatruz, the law enforcement officer who was in charge of the search, told local news media.
Barria Last Seen on Feb 18, Authorities Found Damaged Helmet, ATV
Barria had last been seen near the coast in the southern Chubut province riding his all-terrain vehicle late on Feb. 18 shortly before midnight.
According to local news outlet El Pais, Barria told his wife he would be home late. However, he did not show up or respond to any messages or phone calls. Barria's relatives lodged a missing person's report after he failed to show up the following day.
The agents began to rake the area where he was last seen and after 40 hours of searching they located Barria's damaged ATV and a little further away, a helmet dented and split in two at the bottom. Barria's body, however, was nowhere to be found.
Barria May Have Had an Accident, Dragged by High Tide
On Sunday, when the fishermen opened the shark to remove the entrails, they found skin, fat, and human flesh. The remains corresponded to a forearm and the tattoo of a green and red rose, which helped Barria's family identify the remains as Barria's.
Officials are continuing to investigate what exactly happened to Barría. "We presume Diego had an accident," Millatruz said, "and we're investigating if there was a vehicle involved."
The remains will also undergo DNA testing to officially confirm that they belong to Barría, Cristian Ansaldo, who heads up the police department in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, said in an interview. The school shark in which the human remains were found measured around 1.5 metres, Ansaldo said.
The most likely hypothesis that investigators are currently working with is that Barría "collided with a rock and the body was carried away by the sea," noting that there had been a strong tidal surge the weekend when he disappeared.
Barria was survived by his wife and three children. "My heart went with you! I love you forever," Barria's wife, Virginia Brugger, captioned a photo of her and Barria on Facebook Sunday.