Boy's body is found on beach new story on beach kids

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Police investigating the disappearance of brother and sister Tom and Jodi Loughlin were last night examining the body of a young boy found on a beach.

The children, Tom, four, and Jodi, six, vanished from a beach at Holme, near Hunstanton, Norfolk, two weeks ago, a day after starting their holiday.

On Friday, Jodi's body was found washed up on an isolated stretch of beach between Sheringham and Weybourne, 30 miles from Holme.

Last night police confirmed a boy's body had been found at the high- water mark at the beach at Sheringham by a member of the public yesterday afternoon. A spokesman said that officers would be unable to say whether it was that of Tom Loughlin until full identification procedures had taken place.

But he said that the children's parents, Kevin Loughlin and Lynette Thornton, both 37, had been told of the discovery. A coroner has also been informed.

The discovery looks like bringing to an end a search that began on 18 August, when the Loughlins began their holiday. The children, neither of whom could swim, were last seen running excitedly towards the sea shortly after the family arrived on Holme beach at about 5pm.

Mr Loughlin, a computer consultant, and Ms Thornton, a physiotherapist, said they had taken their eyes off them for five minutes. Both said they could not believe their children had drowned in such short a time when the sea was so calm.

A huge land and sea search involving police, coastguards and volunteer members of the public failed to find any trace of Tom and Jodi. Police initially considered two theories: that the children were swept out to sea or abducted. Despite attempts to trace a number of couples seen near the children, police became increasingly convinced they had drowned.

Both parents, who come from Norwood, south London, have remained in Norfolk to await developments. They have been accompanied during the search by police counsellors.

They were said to have been clinging to the hope that their children were abducted, which would mean they might still be alive.

Recently they underwent three days of intensive questioning in an attempt to remember more clues.