A Manchester assistant fire chief reported missing by his family and found dead last week was under investigation by Londonderry police for sexual assault at the time of his disappearance, officials said Sunday.

Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan issued a statement Sunday saying he learned Assistant Fire Chief Brendan Burns was the subject of a police investigation the same day Burns was reported missing by family members.

“On Wednesday, September 30th, 2020, the Londonderry Police Department visited me at Central Station, after Assistant Chief Burns was reported missing,” said Goonan in a statement. “At that time, they informed me that Assistant Chief Burns was under investigation for sexual assault. It would be improper for me to discuss any details regarding this matter.”

Goonan directed all further questions regarding Burns’ death investigation to Pelham police, and questions regarding the sexual assault investigation to Londonderry police.

On Sunday, Londonderry Police Capt. Patrick Cheetham declined to comment.

Burns, 45, of Londonderry, was reported missing by his family on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Manchester Fire Department. His body was located later that afternoon in Pelham by authorities following a brief investigation.

In the statement, Manchester fire officials refer to Burns’ death as “untimely.”

On Thursday, fire officials announced the city brought in members of the Granite State Critical Incident Stress Management Team to provide grief counseling services for department members.

“Burns’ untimely death was a shock to the department and will continue to be difficult to process,” the Manchester Fire Department said in a statement. “We are supporting the Burns’ family in any way we can.”

Last Thursday, Manchester fire officials said they were awaiting word from the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine Burns’ official cause of death. Attempts to reach staff at the Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Burns served as the city of Manchester’s assistant director of emergency management. He held a master’s degree in leadership from Granite State College, a B.S. in emergency services management from Granite State College and an associate’s degree in fire science from Lakes Region Community College, according to an obituary published in the Union Leader. He was also a graduate of the state of NH public supervisor program, certified hazmat technician, fire service instructor III, certified incident safety officer and a nationally registered emergency medical technician.

Burns was twice recognized as the Manchester Firefighters Local 856 “Member of the Year” and served as president of the Londonderry Lightning travel softball league, a Londonderry Middle School softball coach, and a New England Fusion Fast pitch 16U coach.