UK & World News

  • 4 June 2014, 22:36

Body Found In Search For Brit Gareth Huntley

Police on Malaysia's Tioman Island have confirmed that a body has been found in the search for British backpacker Gareth Huntley, who went missing after going on a jungle trek.

Local media reports say the body was found less than 100m from the conservation camp where he was working as a volunteer. 

According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, search personnel stumbled across the corpse in a pond close to a kayak storage unit at around 12pm local time.

The 34-year-old disappeared last week after attempting to find a waterfall nearly four miles away from the camp in the jungles of the paradise island.

Deputy Superintendent Johari Yahaya told the newspaper he could not confirm whether the body was that of the missing Briton.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Malaysian police have confirmed that a body has been found on Tioman island in Malaysia.

"Foreign Office consular staff on the ground are continuing to work closely with the Malaysian authorities and are investigating with them as a matter of urgency.

"We continue to provide support to the family of Gareth Huntley at this very difficult time."

Mr Huntley's mother, Janet Southwell, and his girlfriend, Kit Natariga, are on the island off Malaysia's east coast to assist the search effort.

Dozens of rescue personnel have been backed by paramilitary commandos, multiple helicopters, speedboats and sniffer dogs in the latter days of the search following initial criticism of the Malaysian authorities' response.

Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly spoke to Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak after receiving an open letter from Mrs Southwell in which she urged him to seek more resources for the search.

The letter said: "Make one phone call to the Malaysian leader to insist that they deploy real help to find Gareth before time runs out".

The 34-year-old from Hackney, east London, set off on May 27 telling friends at the Juara Turtle Project where he was volunteering that he would be back by 2pm but failed to return.

Mr Huntley, who was originally from West Yorkshire, was on a sabbatical from his job in the City.

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