THE BODY of a teenager, whose disappearance sparked widespread searches, was found in thick undergrowth six months later, an inquest heard.

Craig Foreman, 18, who was suffering from depression, left home with a large amount of medication in October last year, the inquest in Durham was told.

His family contacted police, and joined extensive searches of the area surrounding his home in Dene Crest, The Dene, Medomsley, near Consett.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Ron Vine, who led the investigation, said: "In addition, numerous inquiries were conducted locally and nationally, all without a result."

But on March 24, this year, a man walking along the B6310, from Medomsley crossroads to Snow's Green, Shotley Bridge, noticed a body lying in a ditch, near a row of houses called Daisy Hill.

Mr Vine, now retired, said the decomposed body of a clothed man was covered by bracken.

Mr Vine said a wrist watch was identified by Mr Foreman's mother, Ann Marie, who also confirmed the clothing was what her son was wearing when she last saw him.

A report by Home Office pathologist Dr James Sunter said while there was some evidence of several medicinal drugs in his system, the post-mortem results were inconclusive, due to the length of time after death when the examination took place.

A open verdict was recorded.