Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Wingsuit scientist's funeral donations 'missing'

Angelo Grubisic Image copyright Angelo Grubisic
Image caption Dr Grubisic had performed base jumps around the world

The family of a champion wingsuit flier is calling for help after his funeral donations "went missing".

Dr Angelo Grubisic, 38, an astronautical engineer at the University of Southampton died in a base jumping accident in August.

At his funeral in Walsall, the box thought to contain between £5,000 and £8,000 went to another funeral "without being emptied," his family said.

The money was going to be used to support engineering students.

In a statement his family said the box went to another funeral the next day "which is where the donations went missing".

His mother Anita said, "I'm not only upset but angry, as the loss of the money could so easily have been put right with honesty.

"It's not just the donations made in good faith by those who loved my son but also the cards and messages which would have been in the donation box too. These are irreplaceable."

The family said it was now making a public appeal after spending more than two months trying to find the missing money.

West Midlands Police said it was investigating "a mix up of donations at two funerals" in the Bloxwich area of Walsall on 19 and 20 September.

Officers have asked anyone with any information to get in touch.

Image copyright Jess Ratty
Image caption Dr Angelo Grubisic was taking part in a planned event in Saudi Arabia when he died

The family said it planned to continue to set up the Dr Angelo Grubisic Young Engineers Fund which aims to to support underprivileged students considering a career in science or engineering.

His family have set up an online fundraising campaign in a bid to recoup the donations made at the funeral.

The astronautical engineer was taking part in a planned jump in Saudi Arabia when he was killed.

He had led a wingsuit design team at the University of Southampton and was crowned a British wingsuit champion in July.

Dr Grubisic set up the Icarus project at the university In 2015 - the aim of the project was to design a wingsuit to break world records.

He had previously worked on spacecraft propulsion for both NASA and the European Space Agency, and was a consultant engineer for the European Space Agency's BepiColombo mission to Mercury in 2018.

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