A BODY found near a County Durham stream is thought to be that of a young man who was recently reported missing.

Police were called to Newton Aycliffe at about 8.30am yesterday, after reports a body had been found.

It is understood two young girls made the grim discovery on their way to school.

Officers attended a wooded area of Woodham Burn, near Burn Lane, where the body of the young man, reported missing on Sunday, was found.

Several police vehicles attended the scene, which was cordoned off for a few hours until the body was removed.

A spokesman for Durham Police said yesterday: “The body was found by passers-by in a wooded area of Burn Lane at around 8.30am this morning.

“The body has been removed from the scene and while no formal identification has taken place yet, police have informed the family of the missing person of the developments.”

Police have confirmed that there are no suspicious circumstances regarding the death of the young man.

The coroner for County Durham is being informed and an inquest is expected to be opened and adjourned in the near future.

Woodham Burn is a popular walking route in the town used by many dog-walkers and children making their way to and from school.

To talk to the Samaritans charity for support and advice on any issue, call 08457-90-90-90 or email jo@samaritans.org