British police have arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter in relation to the air crash death of Argentine soccer star Emiliano Sala.
Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when their plane went down over the English Channel in January while traveling to Cardiff, where the player was to take up a newly-signed Premier League contract.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police on Thursday morning said a 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire had been arrested and released over the deaths while investigations continue.
Sala’s body was discovered in wreckage on the sea floor days after the plane went missing, while Mr Ibbotson’s body has never been found.
Police said the families of the two men had been informed of the arrest.
Dorset Police has been carrying out inquiries on behalf of the coroner, the BBC reported.
“As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our inquiries we have today … arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act,” Detective Inspector Simon Huxter said.
“He is assisting with our inquiries and has been released from custody under investigation,” he said.
Mr Huxter said speculation into the identity of the suspect could be harmful to the police investigation.
“As is standard practice, we will not be releasing any further information as to the identity of the individual who has been arrested unless that person is charged to appear in court, and again would discourage any speculation in relation to this,” he said.
The Piper Malibu aircraft carrying Sala and Mr Ibbotson vanished on January 21 shortly after taking off from the French city of Nantes, where the player had been saying goodbye to former teammates.
An official search was called off on 24 January after Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”.
Shipwreck hunter David Mearns found the plane wreckage on 3 February using sonar after a crowdfunding appeal to find the aircraft raised.
An autopsy found Sala died from injuries to his head and torso sustained in the plane crash.