Body found in search for British backpacker

(6834852)

(6834852)

First published in News

A body has been found by police searching for British backpacker Gareth Huntley who went missing in the Malaysian jungle.

The body was found yesterday (Wednesday) in a pond a few yards from a kayak storage unit near the Juara Turtle Project where the 34-year-old had been working, according to the Foreign Office.

Deputy Superintendent Johari Yahaya reported the discovery but could not confirm whether the body was that of the missing former pupil of Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Malaysian police have confirmed that a body has been found on Tioman island in Malaysia.

"Foreign Office consular staff on the ground are continuing to work closely with the Malaysian authorities and are investigating with them as a matter of urgency.

"We continue to provide support to the family of Gareth Huntley at this very difficult time."

Mr Huntley was a boarder at Woodhouse Grove from 1991 to 1998. His two brothers also attended the school.

Sam Cadman, Marketing Manager at Woodhouse Grove said: "Gareth and his brothers Chris and Mark attended Woodhouse Grove in the 1990’s, they were all actively involved in school life and Gareth toured Australasia with the school rugby team in 1997.

"Gareth was a great guy, he was very chilled and laid back but was the kind of person everybody wanted to have as a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gareth’s family at this devastating time."

Mr Huntley has not been seen since he started a trek to a waterfall in Tioman Island, off the south-eastern coast of the country's mainland, last Tuesday morning.

A search party consisting of commandos, police and firefighters stumbled across the body when they were returning to the base camp at around noon local time, The Star reported.

The body was found in a pond around 20 metres from a kayak storage unit within the compound of the conservation camp which Mr Huntley volunteered in, the newspaper said.

It was behind a row of cabins which were occupied by rescue teams over the last three days, the paper reported.

Mr Huntley, of Hackney in east London, who is originally from the Bradford area, was on a sabbatical from his job as an accountant.

His mother, Janet Southwell, arrived in Malaysia on Monday after Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak about the search effort.

In Malaysia the international pressure from Mr Huntley's family and friends, who had feared there was a lack of action in spite of the public response, has turned into efforts on the ground.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree