"a challenging and emotional search"
Police confirmed that a body was found just off Bridgnorth Road, near Madeley, Staffordshire, which they believed to be missing Harjinder ‘Harry’ Takhar.
Harry disappeared on October 2, 2022 and it came as a shock to his family.
His wife Ran said it was “completely out of character” for the 58-year-old father-of-four to go missing.
Ran said her husband was a “family man” who was a “very jolly character and full of energy and life”.
Nine days after his disappearance, West Mercia Police had issued its third appeal for help.
At the time, Detective Inspector Jo Whitehead said:
“Ourselves and Harry’s family remain extremely concerned and we are doing everything we can to try and find him.”
Harry was a well-respected member of the community and a Facebook group was launched, amassing 8,500 members. Messages of support came flooding in from friends and strangers.
Harry disappeared in the Stirchley Pools area of Telford. He was last seen running towards a wooded area after suffering a panic attack.
Detectives and search-and-rescue teams scoured the area over weeks and months.
Detective Inspector Whitehead said those searches had taken place “over very challenging terrain”. This included “water pools, disused canals, thick undergrowth, an underground cave network and the underground storm drain network”.
Due to the dangers involved, members of the public were urged to avoid carrying out their own searches.
Heading into Christmas and New Year, no word had been heard of Harry.
But on January 23, 2023, a body was found in isolated woodland, which police believe is Harry.
Formal identification has not yet taken place, but Harry’s family has been informed. Police have not treated the death as suspicious.
In a statement, Detective Inspector Whitehead said:
“This is a sad outcome to what has been a challenging and emotional search, but I’m pleased that Harry’s family now have some closure.
“I’d like to thank the public for their incredible response to our appeals to locate Harry and all the information that they provided to us during our enquiries.
“Harry’s family have asked me to express their sincere thanks for the support they have received from the community since Harry’s disappearance and have asked that their privacy is respected at this distressing time.”
Tributes have been paid to Harry.
One person said: “Just saw the news and broke into tears.
“I’m so sorry for you all I really am. My heart hurts for you even though I don’t know you personally.”
Another wrote: “Thinking of all the family, my heart goes out to you.”
A message from a family member read: “As a family, we kindly ask for privacy during this difficult time.
“Thank you everyone for your kindness and support throughout this process.”