New year body washed up on Hampshire beach identified


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The Independent Online

The body of a man found washed up on a beach on the South Coast of England has been identified as a 60-year-old from Wales.

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed today that he was Eric Williams, of Sketty in Swansea.

Police had been trying to establish the man's identity ever since the body was found on the south side of Hayling Island in Hampshire on New Year's Day.

Officers said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

This afternoon, South Wales Police confirmed Mr Williams had not been reported missing to them.

And Hampshire Constabulary said the precise location of where Mr Williams had entered the water was unclear and was "now a matter for the coroner" to try to establish.

It is believed Mr Williams' body had been in the sea for up to a week.

Initially, officers in the South of England said there was "nothing to suggest" that the man was local - leading them to broaden their inquiries to the Isle of Wight, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset as well as Wales.

A spokesman said: "Police are now in a position to confirm the identity of a man whose body was washed up on a beach at Hayling Island on New Year's Day.

"Eric Williams, 60, of Dillwyn Road, Sketty, Swansea, was found deceased by a member of the public on the beach near to the junction of Southwood Road and Bosmere Road at around 8.56am.

"His death is not believed to be suspicious and a file has been passed to the coroner."

Police said Mr Williams' family have been informed and they have asked for the media to respect their privacy.