Trains halted as body found in Essex

SHAUN LOWTHORPE Police searching for missing teenager Natasha Coombs tonight found a body close to a railway line.The body was discovered near the track at Manningtree, Essex, police said.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Police searching for missing teenager Natasha Coombs tonight found a body close to a railway line.

The body was discovered in undergrowth next to the track a mile on the London side of Manningtree - where it is thought Natasha got off a train on the night she disappeared last month.

Detectives asked train operator One to suspend services between Ipswich and Colchester at about 7pm with all trains between Norwich and London delayed as officers secured the area.

Special buses were laid on to help get commuters home with passengers told there had been a fatality on the line.

An Essex Police spokesman said the body had not been identified and it was too early to say whether it was that of a man or woman.

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Natasha, 17, of Dovercourt, Essex, vanished after boarding a late night train from Ipswich on July 27.

She had been out for a meal with friends on the night of her disappearance.

This week her father Gary, a senior executive for Norwich Union and wife Joanne spoke of their love for their daughter and their desperation to get her back.

Her grandparents, Peter and Wendy Clackett, of Harwich, Essex, have offered their life savings as a reward for information that helps find Natasha safe and well.

Police believe she might have been upset about splitting up from her boyfriend Joshua Brennan on the night she went missing.

Today Mr Brennan, had made an emotional appeal for help in finding her.

He said the couple separated two weeks before her disappearance, but had hoped that absence would "make the heart grow fonder".

The 18-year-old, who is due to attend an interview to work at an investment bank, said he spoke to Natasha on the day she went missing.

He said: “My last words to her were 'I love you'.”

He said they recently celebrated their one-year anniversary of being together and had spent Valentine's Day in Paris and also been on a trip to Amsterdam together.

“She had no reason to run away,' he said. "Natasha, in my mind, is gorgeous. She is the most gorgeous person I have ever met.”

Holding up a life-size poster of Natasha, he appealed for anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact police.

Fighting back tears, he said: “I want us to live the life we've planned - to get married, have a house and some kids.

“Not only are you the best person in my life, you are my best friend and I miss you and I want you home.”

He said posters had been put up around the Manningtree area in Essex, which is where Natasha is believed to have got off a train she boarded at Ipswich at 10.42pm.

CCTV images show the missing girl was wearing a bright pink skirt, white jacket and black Fiorelli Dodo handbag and she was carrying a top-of-the-range pink Samsung mobile phone, which although active on the night has not been used since her disappearance.

Detectives, who previously appealed for three men in smartly dressed suits to come forward, were also investigating whether the teenager had tried to get a taxi home.

There have been no confirmed sightings of the teenager since she boarded the train.

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