Family members of a man who reportedly went missing earlier this month in southern Argentina allegedly identified his tattooed dismembered arm that two fishermen discovered inside a captured school shark.
According to local media, Diego Barría, 32, an oil worker and father of two children, was last seen driving an ATV along the coast in the southern Chubut province on February 18. Two days later, authorities located the damaged vehicle on a beach near Rocas Coloradas.
Barría was nowhere to be found.
Daniela Millatruz, the leading law enforcement officer in charge of the search, told local media that two fishermen alerted coast guard authorities after catching three school sharks nearby where authorities had located Barría’s ATV.
“When they were cleaning them, they found human remains in one of them,” Millatruz said, adding that Barría’s family members were able to identify they belonged to their kin “due to a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains.”
The New York Post reported hours before authorities were notified of Barría’s remains, a pair of sunglasses were discovered near the area where the ATV was found, which Barría’s mother confirmed belonged to her deceased son.
Millatruz said authorities have begun investigating if another vehicle was involved, presuming Barría was involved in an accident.
José Mazzei, a Civil Protection spokesperson, told local media the agency has two hypotheses about Barría.
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“One, that he was injured,” Mazzei said. “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.”
Comodoro Rivadavia Police Chief Cristian Ansaldo told local media that the shark carrying the human remains measured around 4.9 feet, and he hypothesized Barría “had an accident and was dragged.”
“One of the strongest hypotheses is that it collided with a rock and the body was carried away by the sea, but we are going to handle all the hypotheses with the evidence found in the place,” he said.
Authorities will conduct an official DNA test of the remains to confirm they belong to Barría.
Virginia Brugger, Barría’s widow, wrote on Facebook Sunday, “My heart went with you!”
“I love you forever,” she said.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.