Emiliano Sala

Police are investigating reports that photographs of footballer Emiliano Sala’s dead body were posted on social media.

The images appear to show the striker’s remains at the Holly Tree Lodge mortuary in Bournemouth, after he was killed in a plane crash in January.

The 28-year-old footballer was travelling in a light aircraft en route from Nantes to Cardiff, when it crashed in the English Channel.

In reference to the photographs, a detective told the Sunday Mirror: “We’re disgusted somebody did this.

“It is a very difficult time for Mr Sala’s family and they should not have to endure additional pain this shameful act will undoubtedly cause.”

It is believed the images were first published on social media several weeks ago.

Detectives think the person who posted the images may have broken into the morgue where Sala’s body is resting.

The latest news comes two days after his father, Horacio Sala, 58, died of a heart attack at his home in Argentina.

Julio Muller, the mayor of his hometown Progreso, said: “2019 has been very hard on us. I think Horacio couldn’t get over what happened to Emi.

“Every news he heard about the investigation was really tough for him.”

The Argentinian striker was flying to Cardiff after making a £15m transfer to the city’s Premier League side when his plane disappeared on 21 January.

The aircraft was found at the bottom of the ocean north of Guernsey more than two weeks later.

Sala’s body was recovered from the plane wreckage on 6 February but pilot David Ibbotson, 59, has never been found.

An inquest into the footballer’s death found he had died from “head and trunk” injuries.

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