Australia: Body found in Blue Mountains hunt for missing Briton Gary Tweddle

The 23-year-old expat went missing on 15 July from his hotel

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The Independent Online

Police searching for a British man who went missing in the Blue Mountains region of Australia six weeks ago say a body has been discovered.

Gary Tweddle, 23, was attending a conference in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, when he disappeared after a work dinner.

The computer salesman, who had emigrated to Australia with his family, disappeared after ringing colleagues also staying at the Fairmont Resort in Leura in the early hours of 17 July to say he was lost in the bushland.

He has not been heard from since then despite extensive search and rescue efforts.

A body believed to be Mr Tweddle was found by an ambulance rescue helicopter during a training exercise near bushland in Leura at about 4pm local time, police have said.

Joanne Elliott, a spokeswoman for Blue Mountains Local Area Command, said the “extremely rough terrain” meant police rescue officers would be unable to retrieve the body until dawn when formal identification would take place.

“At 4pm the ambulance rescue helicopter was on a training flight over the Blue Mountains when they saw what they believed to be a body,” she said.

“The location couldn't be accessed on foot and the crew lost all light in the mountains so we're unable to get down to the ground. They will return first thing in the morning with Blue Mountains police.”

Ms Elliott said officers had been in contact with Mr Tweddle's family to inform them of the discovery.

His mother Carol Streatfield, who also lives in Australia, had previously flown to the Blue Mountains to join the search for her son.

She said the phone call from her son's partner Anika telling her that he was missing was the first step in the most “heartbreaking journey” of her life.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office last month, she said, “On the mountain my days were filled with sirens, noise, searching, tireless walking and door knocking. I repeatedly followed the track I believed he had taken in the hopes of finding a clue.

”Every pole and tree were covered with his beautiful face, however it was on a piece of A4 paper with a 'missing' heading.

“I just want my beautiful boy back. There is always love and hope and it is these two things that I will hold on to, always.”

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said, “We are aware of reports that a body has been found. We are making inquiries.”