2 Feb, 2023 @ 18:45
2 mins read

Family’s desperate pleas for answers after tourist in ‘perfect health’ found dead on Malaga beach

Michal Formela Ship Engineer

Spanish authorities closed the case of a missing man after he was found dead, but his family say the case should remain open

The family of a tourist ‘in perfect health’ who was found dead on a Malaga beach is pleading with Spanish authorities for details about what led to his unexpected death.

Polish man Michal Formela, 44, disappeared in June in 2020 from the Andalucian port city.

Several people then found his body in the water at a nearby beach and dragged him to shore on July 13 in 2020.

But because police found no documents on him they could not identify who he was, and registered the death into a database for unidentified persons.

Michal Formela Ship Engineer
Michal was a ship engineer and travelled the world for work.

His family finally received the sad confirmation about Michal last year.

But they are still unsure about the circumstances leading to Michal’s death, or if the body even belonged to him. 

“The DNA for the search comes from my mother and my brother, not directly from Michal,” sister Maria Jagier told the Olive Press

“We want to at least receive a photo of the found corpse so we are sure it is Michal who is buried.”

According to an autopsy report Michal – who left behind no partner or children – died sometime between July 8-10 in 2020.

Tests for Covid-19 came back as negative, while there was no evidence of alcohol or other drugs in his system. 

The cause of death was ruled as a drowning, with no signs of any other injury. 

“He was a very good swimmer and he was in perfect health – he loved sports, running and biking,” she said. 

Michal Formela
Michal Formela was found dead on a Malaga beach.

Michal worked as a ship engineer and would often travel across the world for work, including Spain.

It was during his visits to Spain where he ‘fell in love with the country’ and decided to live there.

“After a few months of him not contacting us I knew something was wrong,” Jagier said.

“When he was sailing it was normal for him not to connect with us, but he wasn’t sailing this time.

“We have suffered and spent so much time and energy worrying about Michal, I deserve to know how my brother has died.”

A spokesperson from the Polish embassy in Madrid confirmed they were aware of Michal’s case, but could not comment further for privacy reasons. 

Jagier said the embassy, at her request, wrote to the Investigating Court 2 of Malaga Court requesting more information. They were yet to receive a response. 

But the Investigating Court 2 of Malaga Court on Thursday confirmed to the Olive Press that all documentation has been sent to the embassy, but was still waiting on Michal’s death certificate.

“This is handled by the Civil Registry of Malaga. Once it is received by this Court, it will be forwarded to the embassy,” the Court said.

Michal was buried at San Gabriel Cemetery in Malaga.

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