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Body recovered during river search

Police searching for a missing schoolboy who disappeared after falling into a river have discovered a body.

Ian Bell, eight, fell into the swollen River Wear near Willington, County Durham, on April 27.

Durham Police said that the body of a young boy had been found downstream from Page Bank Bridge.

A spokesman for Durham Police said Ian's family had been informed of the discovery. He added: "Arrangements are being made for formal identification to take place and the coroner has been informed. An inquest will be held in due course.

"The search is now in the process of being scaled down as Durham Constabulary has no other reports of missing persons at this time.

"Durham Constabulary would like to thank all those involved in the search for their help and their support."

Ian, from Sunnybrow, County Durham, was playing with friends when he was swept away.

Search specialists joined police and dozens of members of the public to look for the schoolboy, without success.

A detailed search of the river and its banks has been carried out during the past week downstream past Durham to Chester-le-Street.

At one point officers co-ordinating the search sought the help of a professor who is an expert in rivers and flowing water, with the aim of directing efforts in specific directions. Contact was also made with colleagues in South Yorkshire Police who had specialist search skills using police dogs.