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Police find body in search for missing Bridport man Phillip Guppy
POLICE discovered a body in a river in the search for a man who disappeared after leaving a pub.
Officers called off their three-day search for Phillip Guppy, 62, after the body was found in the River Brit near Palmers Brewery in Bridport.
Police Inspector Mike Darby said although the body had not been officially identified the police believe it to be the man they were looking for.
Mr Guppy’s next of kin and the coroner have been informed.
His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Insp Darby said: “It would appear to be a very tragic situation. We are not treating it as suspicious.
“Our thoughts and condolences go to his family at this difficult time. We centred our search on the area we suspected he was using to walk home and suspected early on that he was in the |locality.
“Very sadly after a long search period he was located yesterday in the water.”
Police cordoned off a section of the river path after finding evidence they thought might be linked to his disappearance.
The area was guarded by Bridport police for the duration of the search.
Insp Darby added: “We found something unusual which may or may not have been related to him and we used that to steer our search in that area.”
Police had been working to rule out foul play.
He said: “Naturally in circumstances like this foul play is something we consider and we treat it as suspicious until we can rule that out.”
Detectives from Dorset CID were at the scene working with the recovery team.
Specialist search teams, trained to go into fast water, were brought in on Wednesday to dredge the river to try and find the body.
By that time it was clearly not a rescue but a recovery, said Insp Darby.
Two police helicopters were also used in the search – one at night and one during the say and they were able to widen out the area of the search.
When Mr Guppy’s family realised he was missing they contacted the police who began the search on Monday, calling in the helicopters, as well as specialist search teams, sniffer dogs, members of West Bay Coastguard rescue team and Dorset Search and Rescue (DorSAR) have also been involved.
Mr Guppy’s disappearance has been described as ‘completely out of character’.
He was last seen at the Crown Inn at West Bay Road on Sunday where he took part in the monthly jam session.
He got up and sang a few songs with some musicians and was said to be enjoying himself.
Crown Inn landlady Rachael Hampson said Mr Guppy had been enjoying the evening in the pub.
She said: “He was here quite often on Sundays, when it is jamming night and everyone can join in. He was really happy on Sunday.
“He had a really good time jamming and he sung, which he doesn’t normally do. He had a really nice night.
“He was a lovely guy.”
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