A BODY RECOVERED from a Polish canal yesterday has been identified by a family member as that of James Nolan, officials have said.
Deputy chief prosecutor Wlodzimierz Marszalkowski confirmed that a close family member has identified James, who went missing early Sunday in the northern city of Bydgoszcz.
Marszalkowski said an autopsy would be held today to establish cause of death.
James Nolan, 21, of Blessington, County Wicklow, disappeared early Sunday in the northern city of Bydgoszcz, sparking a huge search effort in the city. Police divers found a body early Wednesday and authorities were awaiting the arrival of James’s father, Jimmy, and other family members later to make a formal identification.
No signs of violence were apparent, Marszalkowski said. Robbery didn’t appear to be the motive as 600 zlotys (€140) and a credit card were found on James’s person, he said.
James had been travelling with friends in a rented camper van for Euro 2012, and was last seen visiting local bars after watching televised games in a fan zone Saturday night.
Two of James’s travel companions, 22-year-old Aidan Willoughby and 24-year-old Adam Cullen, described him as a “smiley, outgoing person with a very witty sense of humor” and known by the nickname “Jam.”
Their group of seven arrived in Bydgoszcz on Saturday to meet with other Irish friends. They watched the Poland-Czech game in town and then went into a market square pub around midnight.
“There we enjoyed drinks with the locals, who had been extremely friendly all night,” James’s friends said in a statement.
“Around 2 am, a member of the group (not James) was involved in a minor altercation with a small group of local men sitting in the bar,” the statement said. “The minor altercation ended in a matter of seconds and all involved and the rest of our group remained in the pub. Shortly afterwards, we decided to leave the bar as a number of the group wanted to go home and others went to find a nightclub.
“It appears that Jam left the group or pub alone prior to this. When Jam failed to return to the hotel by late morning and was not contactable, we became extremely concerned and members of the group contacted local police at 2.30 pm. Others drove and walked around the city area looking for him and contacted hospitals.”