New clues in case of missing astronomer: he did not travel alone and they found keys to his room | National

New clues in case of missing astronomer: he did not travel alone and they found keys to his room | National
New clues in case of missing astronomer: he did not travel alone and they found keys to his room | National

Uncertainty persists around the whereabouts of the British astrophysicist Thomas Richard Marsh61 years old, who has been missing since the early hours of September 16, the day he was last seen in the dependencies of the La Silla Observatory, located in the commune of La Higuera, on the border between the Atacama and Coquimbo regions.

In total secrecy, the search for the English citizen continued this Friday, in which various support teams joined the work that had already been previously carried out by personnel from the Police GOPE, regional experts and the PDI’s Central Criminalistics Laboratory.

a desperate cry

Our associated media outlet Diario El Día contacted Tom Marsh’s wife, Felicity Marsh, who assured that they are not giving interviews, but shared an official statement from the family published on the website of the Warwickshire police, an English city from which comes from.

In said letter, she expresses that “we are deeply concerned about Tom and we miss him, and we would ask anyone who may have information on his whereabouts to please help us.”

did not travel alone

Despite the mystery that surrounds the case, in the last hours new antecedents have been known. One of them is that the astronomer who was making an observation trip, concentrating his work on the telescope New Technology Telescope (NTT)did not arrive only in Chile.

He did so in the company of a doctoral student at the University of Warwick, where he teaches.

The foregoing was ratified by astronomer Odette Toloza, a friend and colleague of Marsh, who in a conversation with the Mega Gusto program reported that “Tom had to go to the Chair many times, continuously. This time, he was to make observations for four nights, and this time he was accompanied by a first-year doctoral student.”

Along the same lines, he adds that “the last time they had contact was the day before his disappearance was reported. They said goodbye to go to bed, and the next day they would have lunch or breakfast together, but he didn’t show up.

“I am not totally clear about everything that happened, but then the student asked for him and there were no traces. He thought that he would be resting after a long trip from England, but when they were to start making the observations as such, he did not go to the place, ”he added.

key finding

Meanwhile, according to information collected by El Día, an official from the La Silla Observatory found the keys to the English citizen’s room on the way between the hotel and the telescope where he worked, data handled by the police.

This adds to the fact that his belongings were also found intact in his room, such as his clothes and passport.

Efforts are added

This Friday, other teams joined the search for Thomas Richard Marsh. One of them corresponded to the Search and Rescue Patrol of the Chilean Army (Parme), made up of eight people who are carrying out exhaustive reconnaissance and search work on the ground.

The officer in charge, Second Lieutenant Ángel Sara Almuna, assured that “our mission is to carry out search and rescue in medium and high mountains, in winter and summer, in areas of difficult access for people. By means of ropes, you can go down to cliffs and complex areas. There are various points of interest that we are working on at the La Silla Observatory”.

It is also important to note the work being done by two dogs that joined the operation: Benjamin and Claire, dogs trained at the Police Dog Training School.


The regional prosecutor, Adrián Vega, explained that “it is not possible to rule out any hypothesis as stated above. In any case, the English citizen could have decided to go trekking in the place and have lost his way. Therefore, he is ‘combing’ the area with different types of technology, mainly with drones from the Presidential Delegation and satellite images”.

On the other hand, from the Investigative Police they have been carrying out new interviews and assessing the astronomer’s personal belongings that were found in his room.

According to sources from El Día, among other investigative work, the list of all the people who have been during those days in the enclosure was requested, where employees and astronomers are consideredwhose statements were taken.

“The corresponding expert reports were carried out to search for evidence inside that place, with the participation of experts from the Regional Criminalistics Laboratory and the Central Criminalistics Laboratory,” said Prefect Carlos Albornoz, head of the Elqui Prefecture of the PDI.

The article is in Spanish

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