Young girl's body found on Norfolk beach

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The body of a young girl, thought to be that of six-year-old Jodi Loughlin, who vanished from a Norfolk beach nearly two weeks ago, was discovered washed up on a beach yesterday, nearly 30 miles from where she was last seen.

There was no sign of her four-year-old brother, Tom, who vanished with her from Holme beach, near Hunstanton, 13 days ago.

Detectives said that a man out jogging in the early hours of yesterday morning spotted the body washed up on the high-tide mark at Weybourne, 30 miles east of Holme. The body was removed for a post-mortem examination and police said Jodi's parents , Kevin Loughlin and Lynette Thornton, both 37, of Norwood, south London were being kept informed.

The couple last saw the two children at the start of their week-long holiday on 18 August at Holme beach running through crowds towards the waves as the tide came in. Within minutes, both had vanished from sight. Mr Loughlin and Ms Thornton searched for two hours before reporting the children missing.

Last night, Norfolk coastguards said it was perfectly feasible for Jodi's body to have travelled 30 miles east to the beach at Weybourne, as the county had experienced some of the worst-ever August weather over the past few days.

A spokesman for Yarmouth coastguards said: "If anything ... had been out at sea, it would have been washed ashore in by yesterday's heavy seas." He said force nine gales had lashed the coast on Thursday night.