Irishman Paul Shine-Dixon was last seen at a medical center in France in 2009, a day after he called his partner distressed to say he had witnessed a shooting on a train.
The body of an Irishman missing in Europe for the last nine years has been discovered buried by a French canal, local police have confirmed.
Dublin man Paul Shine-Dixon had been traveling across Europe from Amsterdam to Barcelona to meet his partner in 2009 when he disappeared. Almost a decade on and his body has now been found buried near a canal in the French city of Perpignan.
The 28-year-old father of three had been traveling via train to the Spanish capital on May 2, 2009, when he called his partner distressed saying that he had gotten off at the southern French city after witnessing a shooting on the train.
He was found by police still in a distressed state later that day and taken to a medical center for treatment. Discharging himself the next day, May 3, 2009, Shine-Dixon was never seen again.
French police contacted the Finglas native's family three weeks ago to say they had confirmed the discovery of his body in Perpignan with the aid of the Irish State’s DNA database, established in 2015.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror in 2013, his heartbroken mother Clare had said she would never have peace until she could bring her son’s body home.
“I’ve long accepted my son is dead but I want answers," he admitted.
“My family deserves closure, he has a daughter he never got to meet so his three children deserve to know what happened to their daddy.
“The past four years have been agony and then I finally thought a miracle happened when that girl got in touch to say she thought she saw Paul in hospital,” she added, referencing a phone call they received which falsely claimed he was in a hospital in Birmingham, England.
“Now the pain is almost worse since my hopes were raised and dashed.
“I can’t describe what it’s like not knowing, waking up every day wondering if I’ll hear something or find out what happened. But what I do know is I can’t keep living like this and I owe it to my son to find him.”
The young man had been on his way to Barcelona to start a new life with his pregnant partner Sinéad when he disappeared.
Unbelievable story from @michellehtweet - Paul Shine-Dixon disappeared nine years ago after calling his partner to say he witnessed a shooting on a French train. His remains were recently found buried near a canal.https://t.co/Q8PJjMSXcM— Peter Bodkin (@peter_bodkin) July 24, 2018
His death is being treated as suspicious and an investigation is underway. It could take some time to release the man’s body to his family as French authorities look to confirm his cause of death and the circumstances around it.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.