Authorities in Malaysia’s Tioman Island have announced that a body has been found in the search for missing Hackney resident, Gareth Huntley.
The search for the 34 year-old took a tragic turn when a member of the team noticed the body around 12pm local time, in a river only 100m from the conservation camp where he was volunteering.
Huntley was announced missing last Tuesday, after setting off on a short 6km trek to a waterfall from the Juara Turtle project, where he had been working. His disappearance sparked an immediate outbreak of concern and support from those back in Britain, including David Cameron.
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.”
Huntley’s mother, Janet Southwall, and his girlfriend, Kit Natariga had both travelled to Malaysia to assist the search effort. Only yesterday, Natariga wrote on her Facebook page: “Gareth, WE’RE NOT GIVING UP! Stay strong and keep on fighting!!!”
Morni Mamat, deputy director of the Pahang state fire and rescue department said that a forensics team was heading to the popular tropical resort island to examine the body. “We will probably know today whether it is him,” he said.
The Juara Turtle Camp has now become the site of a police investigation, with yellow tape placed around the kayak storage unit, next to where the corpse was found.
It is believed that a police forensics unit from Kuantan is to arrive shortly to conduct investigations.