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Amazing turnout of 250 people joined search, but it ends in heartbreak

PUBLISHED: 09:35 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:44 13 December 2017

About 500 mourners attended Ian Tang's funeral in North Walsham. Picture: Norfolk Police

About 500 mourners attended Ian Tang's funeral in North Walsham. Picture: Norfolk Police

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A body found in north Norfolk yesterday is believed to be that of 20-year-old Ian Tang, who has been missing since Sunday, police confirmed.

Flowers left on the bridge near where a body was found at Swafield. Picture: ANTONY KELLYFlowers left on the bridge near where a body was found at Swafield. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The body was discovered during a search involving up to 250 members of the public, who were praised by a police chief inspector.

Volunteers gathered at North Walsham Police Station yesterday morning to take part in the search.

The body was found in woodland near to the B1145 at Swafield, just outside North Walsham, at around 11.15am.

Police vans and forensic teams were parked near the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, near to the site.

Chief Insp Wes Hornigold outside North Walsham police station. Picture: David BaleChief Insp Wes Hornigold outside North Walsham police station. Picture: David Bale

Formal identification is yet to take place but police confirmed the man is believed to be Mr Tang.

Officers are not treating the death as suspicious.

Mr Tang was last seen on the B1145 in North Walsham just before 6am on Sunday.

Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold said: “I’ve been absolutely overcome by the number of people that came to the police station to help in the search. It’s a testament to the fantastic community spirit in North Walsham.

The entrance to Club KA in North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe entrance to Club KA in North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“I would like to thank everyone who helped – it was a real community effort. People really came out in force.

“They were willing to do anything they could to help.”

The search was carried out after 10am by members of the public, plus police officers and Lowland Rescue.

Police also carried out door-to-door searches in the area.

Police vehicles parked near the site where a body was found at Swafield. Picture: David BalePolice vehicles parked near the site where a body was found at Swafield. Picture: David Bale

Mr Hornigold said that Mr Tang belonged to a large family and lived in North Walsham.

Mr Tang was very well-known and well-liked in the town.

According to Mr Tang’s Facebook site, he worked at Rossis leisure centre on the edge of the town.

He previously attended North Walsham High School, and started studying at City College Norwich on September 22.

Body found at Swafield. Flowers left on the bridge.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBody found at Swafield. Flowers left on the bridge. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Previously, he had studied animal management level three at Easton and Otley College.

Mr Hornigold added: “We are trying to piece together his last movements. We have spoken to people he was with at the KA club in the town, which he left at about 2.30am on Sunday.

“We have CCTV footage of Mr Tang there, and of him in and around the town.

“We have a good understanding of his movements going to the club, when he left, and the direction he took.

“He somehow became separated from his friends and the last sighting of him was by a motorist on the B1145 at Pigney’s Wood between 5.45am and 6am on Sunday. The driver said that Mr Tang was walking along the road.

“Enquiries are ongoing into why he was in the Swafield area at the time.”

Tributes are being paid to Mr Tang on Facebook. Sarah Hailstone said: “RIP, such a young age. Thinking of your family in this sad time.”

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