Dad’s remains found in stomach of a shark after tattoo identified

San Diego: Woman bit by shark during weekly swim

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The remains of a father-of-three who vanished earlier this month seem to have been found inside a shark after his family identified his tattoo. Diego Alejandro Barría, 32, was last seen alive by fishermen on February 18 driving his all-terrain vehicle on Argentina’s coast. Fishermen called the police after finding remains inside one of three spiny dogfish they caught last Sunday.

Law enforcement officers said the fishermen found the forearm with a distinctive tattoo that was later identified by the victim’s family.

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

Mr Barria’s relatives identified his body in a nearby morgue in the Naval Prefecture of Caleta Córdoba in the Argentine province of Chubut.

While his identity still has to go through DNA testing, his relatives recognised him “due to a tattoo that appeared in one of those remains”.

His partner Virginia Brugger was alerted to his disappearance two days after he left their home in the coastal city of Puerto Visser on his quad bike.

Two days later, Mr Barría’s quake bike and helmet were found heavily damaged on a beach near Rocas Colaradas.

His partner Virginia Brugger took to social media the next day, saying in an emotional message: “Do not leave me. I pray to God that you show up soon.”

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

Local authorities ramped up their search operation, patrolling the area between Puerto Visser and Rocas Colaras by land, air and water.

Ms Brugger then posted on Facebook: “Diego Alejandro Barria is still missing … Our Diego is still waiting for us to find him.”

For now, local authorities say it may have been a car accident. They suspect he may have been dazed and walked into the later or was knocked unconscious and dragged out to sea by the tide, Mr 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.”

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However, local authorities don’t rule anything out as “everything is open for investigation”.

The shark was around 1.5 metres long, according to Cristian Ansaldo, the chief of the Comodoro Rivadavia police department, and it is most likely that Mr Barria “had an accident and was dragged”.

He added that the weekend Mr Barria vanished, there had been a significant tidal wave.

In one of her latest Facebook posts, his wife Virginia Brugger said: “My heart went with you! I love you forever.”

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