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Missing Briton: Police recover body

Police have recovered a body believed to be a British man who went missing in bushland in Australia.

Despite extensive searches, Gary Tweddle, 23, has not been seen since he disappeared after a work dinner during a conference in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, nearly seven weeks ago.

The computer salesman, who had emigrated to Australia with his family, was last heard from when he rang colleagues also staying at the Fairmont Resort in Leura in the early hours of July 17 to say he was lost.

A body believed to be Mr Tweddle was spotted by an ambulance rescue helicopter during a training exercise near bushland in Leura on Monday. A recovery operation has been completed and he is expected to be formally identified in a number of days, police said.

A New South Wales (NSW) police spokeswoman said: "A body was recovered this afternoon. It was winched from a cliff edge in the Blue Mountains. Formal identification has been initiated but it will be a number of days before this is completed."

Joanne Elliott, a spokeswoman for Blue Mountains Local Area Command, said the "extremely rough terrain" meant police rescue officers had been unable to retrieve the body on Monday.

As police confirmed a body had been found, Mr Tweddle's girlfriend told friends and family that "the sun is beginning to rise on a day that we have all been hoping would never come".

Anika Haigh wrote on her Facebook page: "A body has been found in the area of Gary's disappearance and today it will be retrieved and identified. Please know that nothing has been confirmed at this stage but I hope in a few hours we will have an answer either way. One thing I know for certain is that Gary will... come home one day - his fight, determination & 'never give up' attitude that we all loved so much about him will guide him."

The disappearance of Mr Tweddle, who is originally from Reading, sparked the biggest search ever conducted in the Blue Mountains with more than 1,000 officials and volunteers, according to local media reports. His father David flew out to Australia from his home in Berkshire to help with the search effort before he returned to the UK last month.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of reports that a body has been found. We are making inquiries."


From Belfast Telegraph