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Brother of missing pensioner is hopeful family's agony is over as body is found

By Donna Deeney

The family of missing pensioner John Concannon say they believe their agonising 16-month-long search for him is over after the discovery of a body just a few hundred yards away from where he was last seen.

Mr Concannon (71), who suffered from dementia and lived with his son Edward, mistakenly got on the wrong bus home to Galliagh in Londonderry after visiting friends in the city centre. His family believe he got confused after getting off the bus, lost his bearings and wandered off in the wrong direction.

Robert Concannon said the family believes the body discovered by a member of the public on the Lenamore Road on Saturday is his brother.

He added that it has brought huge relief for his family.

Mr Concannon said clothing that was also found at the scene matches what his brother had been wearing.

"We are waiting on official confirmation that this is John but from items of clothing found at the spot, we are confident that this is him," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was found near the spot where he was last seen on CCTV getting off the bus."

He said John has rarely left the thoughts of family members in all the months that he has been missing.

"These past 16 months have been tough on us all as we continued daily searches for John, but also did what we could to help and support my nephew Edward who at the young age of 22 has lost his mother, father and only brother," he said.

"Throughout this terrible ordeal he has been a credit to himself and to us.

"The stress of constantly worrying where John was never left us; we woke up in the morning thinking about where we could search that we hadn't already searched, and then went to bed at night still thinking about John."

Mr Concannon thanked all the volunteers who helped them search for John.

"We will forever be grateful to the people of Derry and Donegal and to the rescue charities who helped us search for John," he said.

"These people who volunteered their time and effort and kept going day after day will never know just how much we appreciated their help.

"Once we get my brother's remains home we can prepare to lay him to rest and that in itself will be a tremendous relief and something we are thankful for. There are families who never fin d their loved ones."

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