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Malaysia backpacker: Gareth Huntley's mother submits DNA

  • 5 June 2014
  • From the section London
From left: Gareth Huntley's girlfriend and mother
Image caption Gareth Huntley's mother Janet Southwell (centre) has given her DNA sample to Malaysian authorities

The mother of a British backpacker who has gone missing in Malaysia has submitted her DNA to see whether a body found on an island is her son.

Gareth Huntley, 34, from Cricklewood, north London, went missing while on a trek to a waterfall on Tuesday 27 May.

On Wednesday the Foreign Office said a body was found on Tioman island, but his identity is yet to be confirmed.

The body was found in a pond near where Mr Huntley was living. More than 100 people had been involved in the search.

Mr Huntley's mother Janet Southwell, and brother Mark, arrived in Malaysia on Monday.

Police chief Sharifuddin Abdul Ghani told the BBC the initial autopsy on the body found no physical injury and they cannot determine the cause of death yet.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Gareth Huntley went missing on 27 May

It will also take two days to confirm whether it is Mr Huntley, the BBC's Malaysia correspondent Jennifer Pak said.

The place where the body was found was less than a 100m from the area where search teams had been staying, raising suggestions of foul play, she added.

It was also close to the Juara Turtle project where the missing Londoner had been living and working as a volunteer.

Malaysian authorities had been searching along the route to a waterfall where he was believed to have gone on a trek, but they found a body close to a kayak storage area on their way back.

Since the discovery of the body, search and rescue teams have pulled out of the island.

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