Gareth Huntley search: Police confirm body found in Malaysia is that of missing Briton

 

Police have confirmed the body found on Malaysia's Tioman Island is that of missing Briton Gareth Huntley.

His body was found near a pond a few yards from a kayak storage unit near the Juara Turtle Project on Wednesday where Mr Huntley had been working, according to local reports.

The 34-year-old, who was on a sabbatical from his job in the City, had told friends on 27 May at the headquarters where he was volunteering that he would return at 2pm the same day he set off but failed to come back.

His mother, Janet Southwell, flew to Malaysia to assist the search on Monday, after telling the BBC she wanted to be there “when they find him”. Last week she appealed to the Prime Minister David Cameron to assist in the search by "making one phone call" to Malaysian authorities.

Ms Southwell had given blood to hospital staff so they could carry out a DNA comparison.

The cause of death has not yet been established.

His family paid tribute to Mr Huntley and said there are "no words can describe the void he will leave" in a statement.

"There are no words that can capture the devastation we feel right now.

"No words that can capture the kindness, warmth and spirit that Gareth exuded; no words that can describe the void he will leave in all of the lives he touched.

"Gareth lived every minute of his life as fully as he could; never without a smile and always with others in his heart. You will never leave our hearts Gareth."

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: "Malaysian police have now confirmed that the body found on Tioman Island is of Gareth Huntley.

"The Foreign Office will remain in close contact with the Malyasian authorities and our staff continue to support Gareth's family at this tragic time."

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