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Body found in storm drain amid search for teenager Noah Donohoe

The 14-year-old Belfast boy has been missing since last weekend.

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A member of the PSNI Hazardous Environment Search Team search a drain in Seaview Park during the search for missing Noah Donohoe (Niall Carson/PA)

A member of the PSNI Hazardous Environment Search Team search a drain in Seaview Park during the search for missing Noah Donohoe (Niall Carson/PA)

A member of the PSNI Hazardous Environment Search Team search a drain in Seaview Park during the search for missing Noah Donohoe (Niall Carson/PA)

A body that police believe to be missing Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe was found in a storm drain, it has been confirmed.

Police in Belfast said that the body was found in North Belfast at around 9.45am on Saturday.

Superintendent Muir Clark said that while that an official identification has not been completed, they believe the body is the missing 14-year-old, who has not been seen since last Sunday evening.

Supt Clark said the storm drain was almost a kilometre long and the specialist search team found it “extremely challenging”.

“We did have access to the storm drain complex and it has been searched over the last number of days before we got to the end of the complex,” he said.

“It’s an extremely challenging environment in which to work and that is why it has taken the length of time to go through that complex.

“They were working in the pitch black and there was a lot of growing to cover.

“In my 30 years in the police, this is one of the most unusual missing person inquiries that I have dealt with.”

He also appealed to the public to refrain from posting rumours about the teenager online.

“It is disappointing that I again need to call on people circulating a number of rumours about Noah’s disappearance, which are completely without foundation,” Supt Clark added.

“This type of commentary and rumour is distressing for Noah’s family and is extremely unhelpful.

“An investigation into the circumstances of Noah’s disappearance is still continuing but there is no evidence to suggest foul play.

“If people post distasteful and patently untrue rumours on social media, we will investigate that.”

On Friday, officers found a bag containing the teenager’s laptop, which is being examined by specialist officers.

“We’re continuing to examine the electronic equipment which we have recovered and obviously that forms part of the investigation into the disappearance of Noah,” Supt Clark added.

“In any electronic device there are massive amounts of information, so we continue to sift through that information, just to build the picture.

“There will be a post-mortem examination which will be conducted and that will very much, hopefully, give some answers.”

He also said that shorts and a coat belonging to Noah are still missing.

A huge search operation has been taking place all week to find Noah, who was last seen in areas close to the Shore Road.

Police believe he may have fallen from his bicycle and hurt his head.

PA