Body found on WWII shipwreck is diver who went missing 7 YEARS ago
The decomposing body of a diver discovered on the sunken wreck of a WWII transport cruiser has been identified as that of Robert Szlecht, a diver from Poznań who went missing in 2012.
The remains were discovered earlier this year by divers from the Baltictech group who came across the body stuck between the Wilhelm Gustloff’s hull’s middle and bottom while carrying out routine photo and video documentation.
Judging by the state of the remains, it was thought the body had been there for several years.
Now, DNA tests have revealed the body belongs to Robert Szlecht.
According to Onet.pl, Jolanta Rewers, Szlecht's sister in law, said: "The DNA tests confirmed it's Robert”.
Even before the DNA tests were carried out, all the evidence was pointing to the identity of the 44-year-old.
His wife recognized the golden chain he wore on his neck and the diving suit he was wearing. The DNA tests were the final confirmation.
Szlecht and his diving companions had been exploring the depths of Baltic when he went missing.
Although the Wilhelm Gustloff wreck was an attractive site for divers, in 1994 Polish authorities declared it a war grave and forbid any further expeditions out of respect for the thousands of victims left there.
When Szlecht went missing, his companions called for help and said they had been diving at the Terra tanker, located seven kilometres from Gustloff.
Despite a rescue operation, Szlecht’s body was never found.
His diving companions are now facing charges of unintentionally causing death, failure to provide help, and perjury.