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Police divers find body in search for missing teen

By Claire Hayhurst

Published 08/08/2016

‘Tripping’: Nathan Woodthan
‘Tripping’: Nathan Woodthan

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.

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

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."

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.

New psychoactive substances - 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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