A body found in the wreckage of a plane in the English Channel has been identified as that of Emiliano Sala, according to a statement from the Dorset police.
The plane, which was carrying the Argentine footballer, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, went missing from radar near Guernsey two weeks ago.
A private search team located the missing aircraft on the seabed on Sunday and confirmed the body of one of the occupants had been seen among the wreckage, and on Wednesday it was confirmed that a body had been recovered.
The Dorset police put out a statement on Twitter on Thursday that read: “The body brought to Portland Port today has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
“The families of Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson have been updated. Our thoughts remain with them all.
“The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.”
Cardiff City added in a brief statement: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”
Sala disappeared on Jan. 21 en route to Cardiff from Nantes after finalising a transfer deal to join the Premier League club.
An official search for the Piper Malibu plane was called off after three days and Guernsey harbour master David Barker said the chances of finding survivors were “extremely remote.”
Following a crowdfunding campaign, the search for the pair was reopened on Jan. 27, and in conjunction with a privately funded vessel, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch began exploring an area about 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey on Sunday morning.
Cushions likely to have come from the plane were discovered on a beach in France near Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula by French authorities on Jan. 30.
Investigations are continuing to establish what happened to the plane, while the AAIB is expected to publish an interim report in the coming weeks after consulting with the missing men’s families and police.