The remains of an Israeli man missing for five days in Uman, Ukraine, were found in a lake on Saturday.
Authorities said they positively identified the body of Amir Ohana, a 28-year-old Bat Yam resident, who went missing on September 15. His family was notified of the tragic news.
The ZAKA rescue service, the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in the Ukraine were working to bring his body to Israel for burial.
In a statement released Saturday, ZAKA said that Ohana was found with his clothes on, but without shoes or socks.
“It appears he sat on the pier and dipped his feet in the water before suffering an attack and falling into the water,” ZAKA said according to ultra-Orthodox news outlet Kikar Hashabat. Ohana suffered from epilepsy.
Ohana was reported missing in Ukraine during the annual Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage to Uman, where Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, is buried. The father of three went missing on Tuesday last week, the second day of the Jewish New Year.
The last time anyone heard from Ohana, he was planning to walk to Rabbi Nachman’s grave and seek solitude in the surrounding forests, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. His personal effects were found in the room where he was staying in Uman.
His body was found in a lake near the grave.
On Friday, Ohana’s wife published a video to Facebook in which she made a tearful, impassioned plea for his safe return.
“Amir, my love, my heart goes out to you in prayer. Come back to me,” she wrote, and asked that people pray on his behalf. “Father, have mercy on me, without him I have no life.”
Since the fall of communism, Uman has seen the arrival of thousands of Israeli pilgrims every Rosh Hashanah.
The pilgrimage has generated friction between the predominantly Israeli arrivals and locals, many of whom resent the cordoning off by police of neighborhoods for the pilgrims.