Police have found the body of a man in Bridport

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Police believe the body they have found is that of Phillip Guppy Police believe the body they have found is that of Phillip Guppy

THERE has been an outpouring of sympathy for the family of 62-year-old Phillip Guppy after a body was found on Wednesday.

Police called off their three-day search for the missing Bridport man on Wednesday lunchtime after a body was found in the River Brit near Palmers Brewery.

Bridport Police Insp Mike Darby said although the body had not been officially identified the police believe it to be the man they were looking for.

Mr Guppy’s next of kin and the coroner have been informed.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Insp Darby said: “It would appear to be a very tragic situation.

“We are not treating it as suspicious.

“Our thoughts and condolences go to his family at this difficult time.

“We centred our search around the area we suspected he was using to walk home and suspected early on that he was in the locality.

“Very sadly after a long search period he was located yesterday in the water.”

Police cordoned off a section of the river path after finding evidence they thought might be linked to his disappearance. The area was guarded by Bridport police for the duration of the search.

Insp Darby added: “We found something unusual which may or may not have been related to him and we used that to steer our search in that area.”

Police had been working to rule out foul play.

He said: “Naturally in circumstances like this foul play is something we consider and we treat it as suspicious until we can rule that out.”

Detectives from Dorset CID were at the scene working with the recovery team.

Specialist search teams trained to go into fast water were brought in on Wednesday to dredge the river to try and find the body, which by that time was clearly not a rescue but a recovery, said Insp Darby.

Two police helicopters were also used in the search – one at night and one during the say and they were able to widen out the area of the search.

When Mr Guppy’s family realised he was missing they contacted the police who began the search on Monday, calling in the helicopters, as well as specialist search teams sniffer dogs, members of West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team and Dorset Search and Rescue (DorSAR) have also been involved.

Mr Guppy’s disappearance has been described as ‘completely out of character’.

He was last seen at the Crown Inn at West Bay Road on Sunday where he took part in the monthly jam session.

He got up and sang a few songs with some musicians and was said to be enjoying himself.

Crown Inn landlady Rachael Hampson said Mr Guppy had been enjoying the evening in the pub.

She said: “He was here quite often on Sundays, when it is jamming night and everyone can join in. He was really happy on Sunday; he had a really good time jamming, he sung, which he doesn’t normally do. He had a really nice night.

“He was a lovely guy.”

TRIBUTES and sympathy towards Mr Guppy’s family and friends appeared social media following the news of the discovery of the body.


On Facebook, Mr Guppy’s nephew John Murray-Hawkins thanked everybody who had commented.
Mr Murray-Hawkins said: “Our family are devastated.
“He was the most wonderful man, brother and uncle you could ever know and he will be missed by everyone. “Thank you for all your very kind words."

Gary Hayball, a close friend of Mr Guppy, commented: “Very sad news of a very dear friend, especially when you speak and have a laugh one day, and then they are not here the next.
“Our thoughts are with Dave his brother and all the family. Rip Phil.”

Susan Harris, one of Mr Guppy’s neighbours, commented: “Such sad news.
“RIP Phil our thoughts are with his family and friends.
“It’s been a privilege to have such a lovely neighbour and friend.”

Keith Baldwin led the sympathies, posting: “So very sad, I feel for his family so close to Christmas”, while Kate Strawbridge also said: “Oh no, so sad.”
Lisa Jayne Willment posted: “Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends.”

Kayleigh Pumford said: “Thoughts and love go out to family and friends. Awful news.”
Martin Hussey posted: “Sorry to read this, my thoughts are with his family. RIP Mr Guppy.”
Gemma Nokes wished all of Mr Guppy’s family sympathy, and Shirley Bettley posted: “Very sad and upsetting.”
Zita Lavina Zimbalatti said: “Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. How tragic. RIP Phillip.”

You can also post your own tribute to Mr Guppy and his family by commenting on our Facebook page, tweeting us @the bridportnews or by commenting below.
Jennifer Taylor commented: “So sad to hear this news. Love to John Murray-Hawkins and his family.”

Lyn Adams posted: “So sorry, what terrible news. Thinking of his poor family at this sad time. He was a lovely guy and a true gent.”
Stacy Long said: “Such sad news, my sympathy to his family.”

Ali Walkley said: “So very sad. He was a lovely man. All thoughts with his family.”
Emma Coombs commented: “Such sad news – condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.”

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