Indian-origin teenager found dead in canal

January 27th, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS  

FacebookLondon, Jan 27 (IANS) Missing Indian-origin teenager Jonathan Marques has been found dead, his body pulled out of a canal Monday in his hometown of Reading. Police divers pulled out the body from sluice gates of the Kennet and Avon Canal in the southeastern town of Reading, around 70 km from here.

The 15-year-old Goan schoolboy had been missing since Jan 6, sparking a huge hunt by the local Berkshire and other police forces, as well as his family and friends.

With his parents too distraught to speak, family friend Evan Correio said: “We are all so sad… We were all expecting Jonathan to come back. We didn’t expect this.”

Jonathan’s mother Arcanja collapsed when the news was broken to her and husband Menino just after midday Monday.

Jonathan, who had failed to turn up at school Jan 6, was found in his school uniform and wearing his rucksack.

His family and friends from the Goan community in Reading, as well as the local media, have been at the forefront of the search for him, organising a march along the route, handing out leaflets and holding church services to pray for his safe return.

A Facebook group set up by the Reading Evening Post newspaper helped widen the search by attracting more than 3,000 members worldwide.

On Saturday, volunteers were in the Broad Street Mall in Reading in an attempt to jog people’s memories.

Detective Chief Inspector Stan Gilmour said Monday: “Jonathan’s family have been informed of the discovery. It is clearly a distressing time for them and we continue to have dedicated family liaison officer in place to assist them.”

The body has been sent for a post-mortem.

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