The identity of a body found in a woodland has now been confirmed as missing man David Bennett.
DNA tests were required after the discovery was made in an area of land near the Lambton Estate on Sunday, September 15.
At the time, Northumbria Police said the force was working on the assumption that the body belonged to David, but Sunderland’s coroner’s office said further tests would be needed to confirm the identity.
Officers are supporting his friends and family at what is an incredibly difficult time.Northumbria Police
While those inquiries have confirmed it is him, an investigation is still continuing to establish a cause of death following tests after a post mortem examination.
Police have said it is not believed any third part was involved in the 30-year-old’s death.
David had last been seen by his family leaving his home in Shiney Row on Saturday, August 18. A member of the public reported later seeing him in Weymouth Drive in the village at 1am the next day.
A series of alerts were issued in a bid to find him, while his family helped hand out leaflets to fans outside the Stadium of Light when Sunderland played Fleetwood Town.
His photo was also beamed onto the boards inside the stadium.
David’s mother Carol Watson had told people a body had been found in the search for her son via a post on Facebook the day after a body was discovered.
She said at the time: “Yesterday was the worst day of my life. Police have found a body and he matched my beautiful son.
“We are waiting for DNA results.
“Thanks for the support and help.
“My heart has truly broken.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said at the time: “Officers are supporting his friends and family at what is an incredibly difficult time.
“Both they and police want to thank members of the public who shared the appeal.
“There is not believed to be any third party involvement and a report has now been prepared for the coroner.”