Body found in search for missing Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe

27 June 2020, 13:40 | Updated: 27 June 2020, 15:36

Noah Donohoe, 14, went missing a number of days ago
Noah Donohoe, 14, went missing six days ago. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Police have confirmed the body they believe to be that of missing Belfast schoolboy Noah Donohoe has been found.

Noah, 14, went missing shortly after leaving his home on his bike at 5.30pm on Sunday.

He was later seen cycling naked at 6.11pm, but no further sightings of him were made after that.

Noah was eventually found in a storm drain at around 9.45 this morning, which had not previously been accessible due to high tides.

His disappearance sparked a huge search operation, involving local and specialist officers, specialist police dogs and an air support unit.

On Thursday his backpack, trainers, hoody, bike and mobile phone were found.

Early indications show that police do not believe there is any sign of foul play in his death.

Superintendent Muir Clark told reporters that the storm drain was almost a kilometre long and the search was "extremely challenging".

"We did have access to the storm drain complex and it has been searched over the last number of days before we got to the end of the complex," he said.

"It's an extremely challenging environment in which to work and that is why it has taken the length of time to go through that complex.

"In my 30 years in the police, this is one of the most unusual missing person inquiries that I have dealt with."

Supt Clark added: "It is disappointing that I again need to call on people circulating a number of rumours about Noah's disappearance, which are completely without foundation.

"This type of commentary and rumour is distressing for Noah's family and is extremely unhelpful.

"An investigation into the circumstances of Noah's disappearance is still continuing but there is no evidence to suggest foul play.

"If people post distasteful and patently untrue rumours on social media, we will investigate that."

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