Body found by police in woodland in missing couple search

Sylvia and Peter Stuart Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption The body was found on Friday and the death is being treated as suspicious

Police searching for a missing couple have found a body in woodland in a Suffolk village near where they live.

Officers were contacted at 07:15 BST on Friday by a woman who reported concern for Peter and Sylvia Stuart, of Weybread, near Diss, who had not been seen since 28 May.

Their Mill Lane home and the surrounding area were searched and the body, believed to be 75-year-old Peter Stuart, was found at 19:15.

Police have launched a murder inquiry.

Suffolk Fire Service crews are also at the scene assisting police in searching nearby streams for Mrs Stuart.

Image caption Forensic teams are searching nearby woodland

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes, from Suffolk Police, told a news conference in Weybread that the body was found about 30ft (9m) from the Stuart's home.

"Clearly, we consider Peter the victim of a crime. We urgently need to find Sylvia. We are hugely concerned for her safety," he said.

"The motive as to why Peter was killed is a matter of speculation."

The officer added the body was fully clothed but he could not comment on how long it had been in position before it was discovered.

Image caption Police forensic teams are at the couple's house in Weybread

"We are treating this as a murder inquiry and as a missing person investigation as we continue to search for Sylvia," he said.

"We are currently carrying out a number of inquiries to find out exactly what has happened and would continue to ask anyone with information to come forward.

"We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in this area of Weybread between Saturday 28 May and today and would ask anyone who can help to call us."

Image caption Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes, from Suffolk Police, told a news conference police were urgently searching for Sylvia Stuart

The village of Weybread is made up of about 200 homes covering about 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares).

Graham Gibbs, chair of Weybread Parish Council, said: "It has been a big talking point in the village. Nothing like this happens in Weybread, although I suppose everyone says that."

Image caption The area around the Stuart's home is being searched by police

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