This Friday marks a week since the disappearance of the prominent British astronomer and astrophysicist Thomas Richard Marsh, 61, who was making an observation trip to the La Silla Observatory, located in the commune of La Higuera, practically on the border between the regions of Coquimbo and Atacama.
Let us remember that according to witnesses, he was seen for the last time on September 16 around 06:00 in the morning, eventually after the long days of observation that characterize these research centers.
According to sources from El Día, the scientist had been working on the campus since the middle of last week, where he was carrying out a kind of internship for a limited time.
That same day, from the La Silla Observatory, which is part of the ESO (European Southern Observatory), they informed the authorities of Marsh’s disappearance.
In fact, that very night he had an observation block scheduled at the ESO’s NewTechnology Telescope (NTT). However, it could not be finalized.
Although during the last few days teams from the Carabineros Special Operations Group (GOPE) have been carrying out various operations with the support of ESO personnel, where they were deployed to carry out various procedures, the unsuccessful search required the support of specialized units of the Investigative Police. .
This, beyond the La Serena Homicide Brigade It has already carried out actions in order to determine the whereabouts of the British scientist.
It should be noted that all his clothes and belongings, including the passport and all the means of identification of the astronomer from La Silla, were found intact in his room, so his disappearance has acquired a greater mystery until now.
Family members asked for help on social networks
In parallel, the prominent British media outlet “The Sun” published Marsh’s disappearance on its website, where relatives and friends of the astrophysicist asked for help to find him.
His daughter, Tabitha Marsh, made a very special request. “Please share this, we are desperate to find it,” she stressed.
In parallel, “The Daily Mail” and “The Mirror” also echoed this news.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Felicity Marsh, wife of the astrophysicist, also joined the call.
“My husband has been missing in Chile since last week. We and his friends and colleagues miss him desperately. If you have any information that could help us find him please call the police,” he tweeted.
PDI carries out proceedings to find the missing astronomer
As indicated by the uniformed police, the strategy continues to be the one carried out by the GOPE with ground tracking, in addition to overflights over the hills by the aeropolice section.
However, until yesterday afternoon there were no positive results.
In any case, it should be noted that yesterday two dogs were incorporated that are experts in searching for people, who come directly from the Dog Training School in Santiago.
In the midst of the tranquility of the wide and arid spaces that surround the La Silla Observatory, an important warning light was given from La Serena, when it was reported that regional experts and experts from the Central Criminalistics Laboratory of the PDI They would join the search efforts at the scene.
In that context, the Prefect Carlos Albornoz, head of the Elqui Prefecture of the PDI, who also traveled to this site, gave more details to El Día.
“A series of statements-taking procedures have been carried out in order to establish more precisely what this person did at the observatory, and these statements will be complemented by another statement-taking and other expert reports that will be carried out at the observatory” , held.
“His belongings were subjected to analysis to establish whether he left the place voluntarily or not,” he added.
“He had recently arrived in the area, but it was not the first time he had worked at this observatory. But I reiterate, this is an open case and no hypothesis is closed, “he said.
Army joins search for missing La Silla astronomer
The various tasks carried out by Carabineros and the Investigative Police have been unsuccessful until the closing of this edition.
However, it was reported that the search for the astronomer will be joined by the Army Military Aid and Rescue Patrol, who will join from today.
In this regard, the regional presidential delegate, Rubén Quezada, He assured that “from the Government we are extremely concerned and we are collaborating closely in the search and rescue efforts for the missing astronomer.”
“We have become aware of the situation through Carabineros, and the Prosecutor’s Office also instructed the Investigative Police to clarify, through their expert reports, the contexts related to this case,” he added.
“On the other hand, through Onemi, the mechanisms have been activated to be able to assist the search efforts and incorporate resources such as dogs to go to the site of the event,” said Quezada.
“In addition, we emphasize that the Army’s Military Assistance and Rescue Patrol will be incorporated to contribute to the search work that has already been carried out,” he concluded.