Kevin Darmody, 65, vanished while fishing on a river on Saturday afternoon in Queensland, Australia
Police in Australia called off their search for missing 65-year-old man Kevin Darmody, who disappeared on a fishing trip over the weekend, after human remains were located inside two crocodiles.
Though the human remains haven’t been formally identified yet, “police believe the remains are those of the missing 65-year-old Laura man, pending the formal identification process,” according to an update from Queensland Police.
“Officers believe the two crocodiles (4.1m and 2.8m) were involved in an incident,” police added.
The animals, which were euthanized during the hunt for the missing man, were spotted upstream from where he was last seen, police said.
A well-known local fixture, Darmody ran the Peninsula Hotel in the small town of Laura, according to Australia’s 7NEWS.
Darmody went missing around 3:30 p.m. local time on Apr. 29 at Queensland’s Kennedy Bend in the Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, police said.
Authorities believe the man was attacked after going to the water’s edge in order to retrieve a fishing lure, per ABC Australia.
Police Inspector Mark Henderson called it a “tragic, tragic ending,” per the BBC, which reported police will now begin the process of formally identifying the remains.
John Peiti, a friend of Darmody’s who was also fishing there that day, told local newspaper Cape York Weekly that he believed the animal grabbed Darmody before he fell into the water.
“I heard Kev roaring about three times and I tried to look down to see what was going on. Next minute, I heard a big splash and I raced down,” Peiti told the outlet. “There was no sign of him, just his thongs on the bank and nothing else. … no fishing rod, no hat.”
As social media tributes began pouring in online, one friend called Damody a “good mate” in the To The Cape York And Back Information group on Facebook, while others described him as a “truly top bloke” and a “real character.”
Darmody was an avid fisher and former bull rider who knew the area quite well, his friends told Cape York Weekly.
“If anyone knew Kev, they’d know that he was always one to give advice to tourists about being careful. He knew the risks and he wasn’t one to take risks,” one friend told the publication.
“It’s just unbelievable,” added Darmody’s brother Pat. “The amount of times he’s been fishing in that area with no problem … I’m stunned.”
Officials say this is a tragic reminder “not to [get complacent] and to heed the signs that are put there for a reason,” Inspector Henderson said, per ABC Australia.