River find is missing boy

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A COMMUNITY was in mourning today as police confirmed a body recovered from the River Wear is that of schoolboy Ian Bell.

The eight-year-old had been missing since falling into the river near his home in Willington, near Crook, more than a week earlier.

Police had announced on Sunday afternoon that a boy’s body had been found downstream from Page Bank Bridge, between Spennymoor and Brancepeth, about three miles from where Ian fell in.

A spokesman for Durham police said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Ian’s family at this difficult period.

“Durham constabulary would also like to thanks all those involved in the search for Ian and ask the family is left in peace at this sad time.”

A teddy bear was laid on the bridge yesterday, close to the spot where Ian was found.