Body found in the search for missing man Jim Middleton
A body believed to be that of missing man James “Jim” Middleton was found earlier this afternoon (11 February).
The body was found around 1pm by a members of the Sussex Community Search Team in the vicinity of Ashtead common. A blue mobility scooter was found near the body.
Jim was reported missing on 2 July 2017 after he left his home address in Epsom and was last seen travelling towards the Ashtead common area on his light blue TGA Breeze 4 scooter. He failed to return home.
Numerous searches have been carried out since then by specialist search trained police officers, Surrey and Sussex Search and Rescue volunteers, other specialist units, Jim’s family and friends and the local community.
The searches had resumed on 22 January due to seasonal changes, with vegetation being less dense at this time of year.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston said: “We are investigating the circumstances of this discovery – however, we do believe the body to be that of missing man Jim Middleton. At this time, we are continuing to treat his death as unexplained and further updates will be issued in due course.
“His family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“We would like to thank all the volunteers, Jim’s family and friends and the local community for assisting with the search, providing us with information and their continued support.”