March 16 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Police believe the body found at a north Norfolk beauty spot yesterday is that of missing Norwich woman Margaret Read.
Formal identification has not yet taken place but police say that at this stage they are not treating the death as suspicious. The body was discovered on a beach at Blakeney.
Ms Read, 70, of Pottergate, was last seen on Friday, February 21 visiting a bank in Unthank Road, where she withdrew cash.
At the time police said her disappearance was out of character and her relatives reported her missing last night.
Police, coastguards and the RNLI were alerted shortly after 3pm to the discovery of a body.
A Wells lifeboat spokesman said that Humber Coastguard had been contacted by someone who was not sure if they had seen a dead seal, a rescue mannequin or a body.
Allen Frary, coxswain of Wells lifeboat, said the inshore lifeboat had been dispatched to the scene, on the beach inside Blakeney Harbour, south of Blakeney Point, and found that it was a woman.
Mr Frary believed a man had first spotted the body in the water and had managed to get it to the beach. There were also reports that it had been seen by crew or passengers on one of the pleasure boats taking people to see the seals on Blakeney Point.
The inshore lifeboat was crewed by Kevin Parr at the helm, with Danny Roberts and Harmen Bouwer.
They recovered the body to Morston Quay where it was handed over to the police.
Wells and Cley coastguard were also involved in the recovery.
Celebrities showed their support on Twitter during the search for Ms Read, including Stephen Fry, comedian Dara O’Briain and one half of the comedy duo Adam and Joe, Adam Buxton.
Mr Fry tweeted: “Missing: Margaret Read (70yrs old). Last seen Norwich city centre Sat. 22nd Feb. Contact Bethel St. Police Stn. Norwich.”
Mr O’Briain and Mr Buxton tweeted a photo of missing Margaret with a plea to their followers to help find her.