POLICE searching for missing Morpeth man Michael Downworth have today found a body.

Michael, 53, was last seen about 3.15pm on Friday afternoon in the Mitfen area but his family had not heard from him since.

A search was launched for Michael and police learnt he had travelled to the Thornley Woodlands Centre near Winlaton Mill, Gateshead, on the same afternoon, where his black Hyundai was found parked up.

Enquiries to locate Michael continued through the night and into today with the support of volunteers from Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team.

But a body has now been discovered in the area near Thornley Woodlands Centre.

Formal identification is yet to take place but officers do believe the body is that of Michael. His family have been informed and are being supported by officers.

Police do not believe there to be any third party involvement in the death and a report will now be prepared for the coroner.

Superintendent Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is the news that nobody wanted to hear and our thoughts go out to Michael’s family and friends at this time.

“We’ll continue to offer them any support they need as they try to come to terms with this devastating news.

“We are sad that we could not bring you some more positive news, but I would like to offer a sincere thanks to everyone who shared our appeal.

“I’d also like to thank all the officers, staff and volunteers involved in the search for Michael, especially the Mountain Rescue teams who gave up their own time to assist our investigation.”