Missing Briton John-Paul Conley found dead in Laos

Mr Conley was travelling with his partner when he was swept away while swimming, a friend had raised £30,000 to fund the search

A British man who was swept away while swimming in a river in southern Laos on Tuesday has been found dead.

The body of John-Paul Conley, 35, from Middlesbrough, was discovered washed up on a beach and recovered by fishing boat early on Friday.

Well-wishers had donated more than £30,000 to fund helicopter and boat searches after a Patrick Ruddy, a friend in the UK, started a money raising effort on gofundme.com.

Mr Conley had been travelling in south-east Asia on a year out with his partner Kate Downey, who was with him when he disappeared.

Both Ms Downey and Mr Conley’s families are now flying out to meet her.

“We have had sad news from Laos,” Mr Ruddy wrote on the fundraising page on Friday. “Early on the fourth day of searching, John Paul was found on one of the many beaches on the river and recovered by fishing boat.”

He added: “Our brilliant, funny and much loved friend has gone. Now, John Paul will begin his journey home.

“Kate's good friends Andrew and Phillippa Mckeown have also arrived in Laos to support her. She is in very good hands.

“I have no information on how long it might take to get John Paul home. At this stage there is very little else to pass on.

“John Paul’s family have been so moved by what you’ve done for him. You can’t imagine.”

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