Police launch murder probe into death of ex-paratrooper Daniel Burke

Police launch murder probe into death of ex-paratrooper Daniel Burke, 36, after his body was found ‘in a drain’ in Ukraine

  • Ukrainian authorities treating death of Briton Daniel Burke as a homicide

Police have launched a murder probe into the death of an ex-paratrooper whose body was discovered ‘in a drain’ in Ukraine.

Daniel Burke, from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester disappeared from the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine in August. He had been providing aid and rescuing injured soldiers.

At the time his family were told by Ukrainian police that officers searched Daniel’s apartment and found it empty with no signs of a break-in and the door triple locked.

After weeks without answers, his parents were told back in September that the 36-year-old’s body had been discovered with DNA tests identifying him.

Authorities now say they are treating Daniel’s death as a homicide.

Police have launched a murder probe into the death of an ex-Paratrooper Daniel Burke (pictured) whose body was discovered ‘in a drain’ in Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities informed police officers searching for missing Mr Burke, 36, that they had found a body in September

Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Crime Division is said to be assisting Ukrainian police with their enquiries. Work is said to be ongoing to repatriate Daniel’s body to the UK.

READ MORE: Body found dumped in Ukrainian drain is identified as missing former British paratrooper Daniel Burke, 36, who was ‘accidentally shot’ by fellow fighter

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, GMP’s lead for Disaster Victim Identification, said: ‘This is a tragic case and we do not underestimate the impact it has had on Daniel’s family who have been left devastated by his loss.

‘I can confirm the Ukrainian authorities are treating Daniel’s death as a homicide and GMP Serious Crime Division is assisting and has completed a number of enquiries to aid the investigation.

‘These are difficult circumstances and GMP is continuing to work with the family and the Ukrainian authorities to repatriate Daniel and bring him home.

‘Daniel’s family have asked for privacy during this difficult time.’

Daniel’s mother Diane previously told the Manchester Evening News of her nightmare as she waited for news about her son. Speaking on the anniversary of the first month since his disappearance she said: ‘I just want to know that all that can be done to find him is being done. It’s been an absolute nightmare.’

She described the moment a Ukrainian police officer with broken English called her at work and repeated the phrase ‘Daniel Burke is missing’ over and over. ‘I was absolutely hysterical,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t cope with it.’

She added: ‘I don’t want it to be just brushed under the carpet. Nobody can just disappear into thin air. There has to be someone, somewhere, who knows something.’

Daniel previously served in Afghanistan and fought Islamic State in Syria – seeing him survive sniper attacks, bomb blasts and infection. His family say he was experienced in frontline combat, reconnaissance and rescue – skills which he was utilising in Ukraine.

Daniel Burke set up his own volunteer unit in Ukraine called the Dark Angels (pictured)

Former British soldier and volunteer in Ukraine, Daniel Burk, has been missing in the country since August 11

He was last seen on Friday August 11 after a fellow volunteer dropped him off at his apartment. He was reported missing by another British volunteer two days later.

Daniel had first travelled to Ukraine when war broke out but returned to Manchester several times. His most recent visit to Ukraine has been his longest.

His mum says he was first encouraged to visit the country by military contacts. He was part of a volunteer military group and spent a very short period fighting on the front line before working for a charity in front-line rescue and evacuation.

Diane last saw him in June of this year. ‘He was really enthusiastic about the work. And he was very, very busy,’ she said previously.

Daniel previously served with the Parachute regiment in Afghanistan and said in 2002 that it was the impact of war on civilians that haunted him most.

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