Body found in Bury river

A POLICE investigation has been launched following the discovery of a man's body in a river.The corpse was discovered in the River Lark, in Bury St Edmunds, by a member of the public at around 7.

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a mental health patient was discovered dead in a river.

Raymond Callaghan became the subject of a police investigation after he disappeared from his home in Hospital Road, Bury St Edmunds, on July 20.

The hunt was called off on Thursday after he was found safe and well.

But yesterday morning, the 38-year-old's body was discovered at the bottom of a steep embankment in the River Lark.

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Last night, the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust confirmed Mr Callaghan had been receiving care, and said an investigation would now take place into the circumstances of his death.

“We were saddened to learn of the death of Mr Callaghan today. We wish to send our condolences to Mr Callaghan's family and friends,” said Robert Nesbitt, director of community engagement at the trust.

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“We will of course work closely with police as they investigate the events leading to Mr Callaghan's death. Although we cannot comment on Mr Callaghan's care at this stage, we will be reviewing the services which we provided to him.”

The discovery, which was made at around 7.45am, left residents of the town's Raingate Street, which runs adjacent to the river, in a sombre mood.

“It is a prime spot for anything like this to occur because it is a very secluded area,” said John Rayson, who has lived in Raingate Street for the past 70 years. “I am not surprised something like this has happened, but it is very sad.”

Residents John and Jean Chadwick said: “A lot of people walk their dogs along the path and I feel sorry for whoever discovered the body.”

Police had become increasingly concerned over the whereabouts of Mr Callaghan, who was believed to become panicky and anxious in crowded places, and sent out numerous appeals for information to the public.

On the day of his disappearance, he had told friends he was going to Great Yarmouth, but was not seen again for three weeks.

Last night, Suffolk police said Mr Callaghan's death was being treated as “unexplained”, but said no further details would be released until a post-mortem was carried out next week.

A specialist fire and rescue crew from Stowmarket was called to the river at 9.15am, after being alerted to the incident by police.

On arrival, crew members discovered there was foot access only to the site of the body, and had to wait for a gate to be opened up by a local farmer.

They then had to use a ladder to climb down the 45 degree embankment, before they were able to lift Mr Callaghan's body out of the river, using line rescue equipment and a scoop stretcher. The body was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury, at around 11am.

Assistant Divisional Officer Pat Dacey said: “All credit must be given to the crew, who did well in dealing with the incident in difficult circumstances.”

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