Missing father-of-three discovered in stomach of shark after family identify his tattoo

28 February 2023, 07:12

Diego Alejandro Barría
Diego Alejandro Barría. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

The remains of a 35-year-old man who disappeared in early February have been discovered in the stomach of a shark.

Father-of-three Diego Barria was last seen riding his quad bike near the coast of Argentina's southern Chubut province on 18 February.

Two fishermen later revealed that they had caught three school sharks close to where Mr Barria's vehicle had been found on Sunday, informing the coastguard of their discovery.

Daniela Millatruz, the head officer behind the search for Mr Barria, told local media that the fishermen had said "when they were cleaning [the sharks] they found human remains in one of them".

Read more: 'Hero' dived into river to try and save 16-year-old girl mauled to death by 'bull shark' in horrific attack

Read more: Terrifying moment young boy is savaged by a shark as he climbs onto boat while on family fishing trip

Mr Barria's family identified him from “a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains" but DNA tests are still under way.

The shark was around 1.5m and it is likely Mr Barria "had an accident and was dragged", the local police department said.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing.

"We presume Diego had an accident and we are investigating if there was a vehicle involved," Ms Millatruz said.

Civil Protection spokesperson José Mazzei said: “We currently have two hypotheses. One, that he was injured. And the other, which has more weight to it, is that - due to the damage to the quad - he was knocked unconscious on the coast and the strong high tide dragged him away.”

His damaged quad bike and helmet were discovered on a beach near Rocas Coloradas two days after he vanished.

The next day his partner, Virginia Brugger, said in an emotional social media post: “Do not leave me. I pray to God that you show up soon.

“Here I am waiting for you. Don’t scare me like this.”

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