A body discovered in a Ukrainian drain has been said to have been confirmed as the missing ex-British paratrooper Daniel Burke.
Daniel was a former soldier from south Manchester who was reported missing in August by his family after he traveled to Ukraine.
Last month, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they had been informed by their Ukrainian counterparts that a body had been discovered in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine.
Now, a corpse discovered dumped in a drain has been identified as that of the British man, according to reports. It was said that police had found remains on a firing range, five weeks after the 36-year-old vanished.
They were reportedly led there by Abdelfetah Nourine, an Australian-Algerian fighter, who was said to have told police he shot Daniel accidentally.
Daniel’s dad, Kevin, 62, told The Sun of the tragic news, adding: “The results of the DNA test is positive for Daniel.” The circumstances around Daniel’s death are still unknown and Ukrainian police forces have been asked whether Nourine has been arrested.
The Brit first formed his own volunteer military unit, called the Dark Angels, then later turned to frontline rescue and evacuation work.
During this period, he repeatedly returned to Manchester. Daniel’s mum, Diane, had previously been told that Ukrainian officers found his apartment empty, with no signs of a break-in.
The mum told the Manchester Evening News of the “nightmare” she had been through after her son’s disappearance. She said: “His boss had plans for him to travel elsewhere because he had done such a good job in Ukraine. She has dozens of voice notes from him because he had to report to her every day. But I can’t cope with listening to his voice. It’s four weeks since he went missing.
“I just want to know that all that can be done to find him is being done. It’s been an absolute nightmare. I don’t want it to be just brushed under the carpet. Nobody can just disappear into thin air. There has to be someone, somewhere, who knows something.”
After it was confirmed that Daniel had passed away, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: “Officers searching for missing Daniel Burke have been informed by Ukrainian authorities that they have sadly found a body.
“Daniel, from south Manchester, was reported missing on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, by a family who had not heard from him believing that he had travelled to Ukraine. Greater Manchester Police are working with the family of the deceased and the Ukrainian authorities to support the identification of Daniel and bring him back to the United Kingdom.”
Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, who is GMP’s Lead for Disaster Victim Identification, added: “This is an upsetting time for Daniel’s family, we have Family Liaison Officers in contact with the family and offer support.
“My team and I are working with the Ukrainian authorities to make formal identification with a view to repatriating Daniel following that process. Daniel’s family have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”