The remains of an Argentine man who went missing earlier this month may have turned up in the stomach of someone shark which were caught by local fishermen.

Diego Barría, 32, father of three, disappeared on February 18 after driving around southern Chubut province Argentina on their all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Barría’s ATV was found two days later on a beach nearby Rocas Coloradas badly injured, but there was no sign of the man.

An intensive search was conducted to locate Barría, but no significant progress in the investigation was made until Sunday morning. Two fishermen reported to the Coast Guard that they reeled in three school sharks near where Barría’s ATV was located.

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While the fisherman was cleaning the sharks, “they found human remains in one of them,” said Daniela Millatruz, the police officer in charge of the investigation.

Barría’s family members were called in to see if they could identify their loved one, and Millatruz said they recognized him “because of a tattoo that appeared in one of these remains.”

Officials are still investigating the circumstances of Barría’s death, but the hypothesis investigators are working on is that Barría had an accident on his ATV on the beach, and was pulled into the ocean by a high tide that occurred the weekend he disappeared.

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“We assume Diego had an accident,” Millatruz said, “and we’re investigating if there was a vehicle involved.”

The school shark where the human remains were found measured around 1.5 meters, according to Cristian Ansaldo, head of the police department in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia.

Ansaldo says police will follow up with DNA tests to officially confirm the remains belong to Barría.

Virginia Brugger, who identified herself as Barría’s partner, had posted on Facebook about his disappearance in the run-up to the discovery of the remains. On Sunday, she wrote: “My heart went with you! I love you forever,” along with a photo of the couple.

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With files from the Associated Press

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