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Missing teenager: Police find body in river

Published 07/08/2016

Teenager Nathan Wood was last seen heading towards the River Dart at Swallowfields, Totnes (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Teenager Nathan Wood was last seen heading towards the River Dart at Swallowfields, Totnes (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Police divers searching for a missing teenager have found a body in the River Dart.

Nathan Wood, from the Paignton area, was last seen heading towards the river at Totnes in Devon at about 6pm on Friday.

Eyewitnesses described the teenager as being naked and appearing to be "tripping" as he was near the water.

A spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall Police said police divers discovered the body at about 12pm on Sunday.

Formal identification has not yet taken place but Nathan's family have been informed.

Inspector Tracy Sharam, based in Torquay, said: "We would like to thank the community in Totnes for their support while the search has been under way for Nathan over the last few days.

"Our thoughts remain with the family at this difficult and upsetting time."

A force spokeswoman added: " Detectives from Totnes CID will carry out a full investigation into the circumstances of the teenager's death and a file will be prepared for the coroner."

Friends told police that Nathan had consumed a new psychoactive substance (NPS) before taking his clothes off near the river.

A canoeist contacted police at about 7pm on Friday after spotting Nathan "tripping" as he headed towards the water.

Local officers began searching the area that evening, assisted by police dogs, a police helicopter, the Coastguard, volunteers from Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group and divers from Devon and Cornwall Police and Avon and Somerset Police.

The searches for Nathan - described as being 5ft 6in, of slim build with gingery fair hair - continued on Saturday and Sunday.

His bag, shoes, wallet, trousers and hat were recovered by police.

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is asked to email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 quoting reference 775 of 5 August.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111.

New psychoactive substances (NPS) - often incorrectly called legal highs - contain one or more chemical substances producing similar effects to illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

Earlier this year, a blanket ban on previously legal highs criminalised the production, distribution, sale and supply of NPS - or designer drugs which saw an explosion in popularity on the drug scene in around 2008 and 2009.

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