GRIEVING family members of a daredevil Southampton University lecturer who died in a wingsuit accident have been hit with a fresh tragedy after money raised at his funeral went missing.

The heartbroken family of jet suit pilot Angelo Niko Grubisic say they are missing thousands of pounds worth of donations.

The money was set to be used to launch a science and engineering foundation in honour of the 38-year-old, who died while performing a wingsuit jump in Saudi Arabia in August.

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Now police have launched an investigation into the incident.

Family members believe the money was stolen, while detectives are investigating a mix-up by the funeral directors – which meant the donation box was accidentally used at another funeral.

Dr Grubisic’s mother, Anita, said: “I’m not only upset but angry.

“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.

“All we want to do is carry on Angelo’s legacy; to build a foundation that will help fund the education of young people from underprivileged backgrounds, like Angelo, towards careers in engineering.”

The family also thanked the directors of Mr Grubisic’s funeral, which took place in Walsall in September, for their continued support.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said its detectives were “investigating a mix up of donations” between Mr Grubisic’s funeral and another the following day.

A force spokesperson said: “The intention was for the money to go to a specific charity, but this same full box was accidentally used at a funeral the next day.

“The donations then became mixed up and the attendees at the second funeral are believed to have donated the whole amount to their chosen places.

“The family of the first funeral are keen to hear from anyone who attended and donated money to thank them and also to identify whether they gave any open cheques.”

As previously reported in the Echo, Dr Grubisic was a lecturer in astronautics at the University of Southampton and a jet suit pilot for Gravity Industries.

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He performed at last year’s Bournemouth Air Festival where he took off from the pier in a jet pack and flew across the seafront.

Dr Grubisic was also the leader of Project Icarus, a programme aiming to develop the world’s first scientifically engineered wingsuit to set world records for human flight.

A University of Southampton Spokesman said: “Angelo was incredibly popular with his students and colleagues and his death was felt deeply across the University.

“We are very sad to hear about the loss of the donations collected at his funeral. Our thoughts are with his family again and we hope that this money can be recovered.”