The search for a missing person has taken a dark turn after a man's remains were found inside a shark caught by a local fishermen, with the remnants of the body recognisable only due to a unique tattoo.
Diego Barría was last seen driving his all-terrain vehicle on a southern Argentinian beach on February 18, a common pastime for the off-roading enthusiast. However the adventure ended differently when his damaged vehicle was located several days later, with no sign of the 32-year-old.
After an extensive search for over a week, the coastguard was alerted by fishermen that one of the three school sharks they had caught close to where Mr Barría's vehicle was found reportedly had human remains inside, the Associated Press reported.
Daniela Millatruz, the law enforcement officer leading the search, said the fishermen caught the sharks and "when they were cleaning them they found human remains in one of them". The shark was reportedly about one-and-a-half metres in length.
Mr Barría's tattoo was crucial for identifying remains
His family were able to recognise Mr Barría "due to a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains" but it is still unknown what happened to him.
“We presume Diego had an accident,” Ms Millatruz said, “and we’re investigating if there was a vehicle involved.” The most likely scenario considered by local police at the moment is that he was involved in an accident and was dragged out to sea.
Local authorities will officially confirm the remains belong to Mr Barría by performing a DNA test.
The victim's partner Virginia Brugger, who appealed online for his return, said she was remaining "strong for the kids" but admitted she didn't know how long she would be able to keep it up.
In light of finding the remains, she shared a photograph of the two of them together. "My heart went with you! I love you forever," she wrote.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.