Human remains found on Sunderland beaches identified as those of missing Newcastle man

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Roy Johnson. Picture issued by Northumbria Police.Roy Johnson. Picture issued by Northumbria Police.
Roy Johnson. Picture issued by Northumbria Police. | Roy Johnson. Picture issued by Northumbria Police.

Human remains found on Sunderland beaches have been confirmed as those of a man who went missing earlier this year, police said.

Officers received a number of reports relating to suspected human remains being washed up on the beaches at Roker and Seaburn between February 13 and April 8, 2024.

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Northumbria Police launched an investigation into the discoveries, and officers say they can now confirm the remains relate to Roy Johnson, 49, who was reported missing on January 20.


The force said Roy was last seen by staff at South Tyneside District Hospital on that day and was later sighted on CCTV in the Temple Park Road area of South Shields shortly before 11pm.


Police said the exact circumstances of how Roy died and ended up in the sea cannot be confirmed.

However, following a range of enquiries, officers can confirm they are not treating his death as suspicious, the force added.


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Roy’s family and friends have been informed and are being offered support by specially-trained officers, police said.


Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Barr, of Northumbria Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This is an incredibly sad update that we hoped we would never have to give.


“Our thoughts are with Roy’s loved ones as they attempt to come to terms with what’s happened, and as ever, I’d ask that his family’s privacy is respected at this time of incomprehensible grief.


“From the moment Roy was reported missing, extensive searches were carried out by various teams of officers in the hope that we would locate him safe and well.


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“I would like to thank everyone who supported the search for Roy, including those officers involved, our partners and crucially members of the public who came forward with information.


“I would also like to thank those who reported the discoveries on the beaches of Sunderland – your information has helped provide the answers that Roy’s family rightly deserve.”


A report will now be made for the coroner.

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