The family of a missing Norwich man are relieved "to know he is no longer suffering" after police confirmed the identity of a body found in a field near Bungay.

As exclusively reported by this newspaper a fortnight ago, the family of 73-year-old David Ryan were contacted police following the discovery by farm workers in Woodton on March 19.

Police have confirmed today that the body was that of Mr Ryan, who had last been seen near his home in Crome Road in Norwich, on December 29.

Mr Ryan could not drive and an extensive search involved drones, house-to-house enquiries, CCTV footage examination and the distribution of around 22,000 leaflets.

Eastern Daily Press: Farm land near the Norwich Road at Woodton

Following the confirmation, a statement from David's family said: "We are really pleased to hear the result and are glad to know he is no longer suffering."

Friends had said Mr Ryan would frequently walk around areas including the city centre, Magdalen Street, Anglia Square, Silver Road and Chapelfield Gardens.

He was not thought to have any links to the Bungay area.

Police say the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious and that a file has been passed to the coroner.

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The search was stood down in January due to "no signs of life", leaving neighbours and friends at Swanton Community Support facility concerned.

Eastern Daily Press: One of the final sightings of David Ryan in NorwichOne of the final sightings of David Ryan in Norwich (Image: Norfolk Police)

Mags Mayes, who lives in Crome Road, said at the time that Mr Ryan "was like a part of the furniture" in the community.

She said: "I would see David walking about, going about his business on his little loop around the block, at least three or four times a day it felt like.

"He was always just wandering about going about his stuff, everyone knew who he was, he's a very distinctive-looking man, dressed in a hat and trench coat, with long messy hair.

"It is just a mystery. We are all worried for him."