POLICE are yet to confirm the identification of the body found on the County Durham coastline at the weekend.

But the man leading the inquiry into the fortnight-long disappearance of 50-year-old Mark Bushnell believes the body is that of the missing Durham School deputy head teacher.

Police were called to Blackhall Rocks after being alerted to the discovery of a body washed up on the beach by a man walking in the area on Saturday morning.

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It was near to the car park where Mr Bushnell's grey Citroen C3 was found, after the father-of-three failed to return home having supposedly gone to the laundrette with washing, at 11.30am on Sunday March 9.

Chief Inspector Andy Huddleston said today (Monday, March 24): “We are still in the process of formal identification procedures, but we do believe that the body found on Saturday morning is that of Mark and his family and colleagues have been informed.

“There is thought to have been no third party involvement in his death and a file has been prepared for the coroner.”

Mr Bushnell has taught at Durham School for more than 20 years, living in the city with his wife and three sons.