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28th Feb 2023

Body found inside shark identified as missing man after family recognise tattoo

Steve Hopkins

Diego Barria disappeared in mysterious circumstances 10 days ago

The remains of a man who disappeared earlier this month have been found inside a shark – and his family has been able to identify him from his tattoo.

Dad-of-three, Diego Barria, was last seen driving his all-terrain vehicle near the coast of Argentina’s southern Chubut province on 18 February.

The mystery surrounding the 32-year-old disappearance unravelled early Sunday, when two fishermen reported to the local coastguard that they had caught three school sharks close to where Barria’s vehicle was located.

Daniela Millatruz, the law enforcement officer who was in charge of the search for Barria, told local media that the fishermen had said “when they were cleaning [the sharks] they found human remains in one of them”.

Barria’s family recognised him “due to a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains”, she added. However, DNA tests will still be done to formally identify him.

Metro reported that Barria’s tattooed arm had been recovered.

It is not clear exactly what happened and investigations are continuing.

Barria’s damaged vehicle was found on a beach near Rocas Coloradas two days after he disappeared.

Millatruz said: “We presume Diego had an accident and we are investigating if there was a vehicle involved.”

Cristian Ansaldo, who heads the police department in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, said the shark was about 1.5m long and it is likely Barria “had an accident and was dragged”.

He said there had been a strong tidal surge on the weekend Barria disappeared.

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