Two people arrested after image purporting to show footballer Emiliano Sala's body posted online

An image reportedly showing footballer Emiliano Sala's post-mortem was uploaded on Twitter.
An image reportedly showing footballer Emiliano Sala's post-mortem was uploaded on Twitter. Photo credit: Getty Images

Two people have been arrested after an image reportedly showing the post-mortem examination of late Premier League footballer, Emiliano Sala, was distributed online.

The Guardian reports that a 48-year-old woman and 62-year-old man from Wiltshire have been arrested on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material.

The woman was released on conditional bail while the man was released under investigation.

Wiltshire police said there is no evidence to suggest a break-in at the mortuary or any malpractice by mortuary staff or council employees, The Guardian reports.

British Premier League club Cardiff City had just signed Sala, 28, for a club record STG 15 million (NZ$28.4m) when he and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, were reported missing after leaving for Cardiff on 21 January.

It was later reported the Piper Malibu aircraft had disappeared over the English Channel after departing Nantes en-route to Cardiff, crashing in waters north of Guernsey.

The wreckage was discovered on 3 February, and the body of the Argentine striker was recovered four days later. Ibbotson's body has not been found.

Sala's post-mortem examination was conducted on 7 February at Holly Tree Lodge Mortuary in Dorset.

Dorset police began an investigation on 13 February after authorities were alerted to an image circulating onTwitter which purported to show Sala's post-mortem. The image was quickly removed, but had already been widely disseminated across various social media platforms.

Senior investigating officer for Wiltshire police, Gemma Vinton, said: "During the course of this on-going investigation we have been liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex.

"A file of evidence was sent to CPS last week to consider whether criminal charges should be brought against the two individuals under investigation by Wiltshire police," reports The Guardian.

"My thoughts remain with Emiliano's family for the pain they have endured throughout the last three months, and who should not have to go through the additional anguish of knowing such distressing images have circulated on the internet.

"I would also urge people to stop sharing the image - this is causing further distress to Emiliano's family and friends."