OFFICERS searching for missing Gateshead man Max Smith have found a body.

Max, 22, was reported missing last week after nobody had seen or heard from him since Wednesday, June 24.

Enquiries established he had left his home in Adelaide Court, Gateshead, before heading in the direction of the Angel of the North.

On Monday Northumbria Police said they would be focusing their attention in Lamesley after CCTV captured him in the area at about 7.30pm on June 24.

But this morning the body of a man was located in Longacre Woods by volunteers at the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue team.

Formal identification is yet to take place but police believe the body is Max.

Detective Chief Inspector Angela Hufton said: “We have been carrying out extensive enquiries to locate Max and this is a sad conclusion to that investigation.

“We have informed Max’s family who are understandably devastated at the news and we will make sure they receive the appropriate support.

“I want to thank everyone who has shared our appeal for information in recent days and those who have phoned us with possible sightings of Max.

“I also want to thank those volunteers, including the Mountain Rescue team, who have given up their own time to join the search.

“We will continue to carry out enquiries to establish the circumstances around the death but at this stage we do not believe there to be any third party involvement.”

Once formal identification has been completed a report will be prepared for the coroner.