Suffolk-based former Marine found dead after 10-month disappearance
- Credit: Courtesy of Amy Hooper
Police have confirmed a human skull found near Harwich Port belonged to a Suffolk-based Royal Marines veteran who had been missing for 10 months.
Essex Police said the skull was found near a building site at the port on July 19, while further bones were discovered along the coastline in Bathside Bay earlier this month.
DNA testing was carried out on the skull and it was confirmed to be the remains of John Dick, a father-of-two from Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Dick was last seen at Dovercourt railway station in Essex on November 30 last year.
Suffolk police and other forces launched an appeal for help in tracing the 38-year-old as members of his family issued a desperate plea for him to return home.
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The veteran, who served in the Marines for 13 years, had been classed as 'high-risk' by police, but the active search closed in early April as officers exhausted their leads.
Mr Dick's family said they were told last Wednesday that he had died.
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He leaves behind his wife, Lorna, and two young children.
Having not been seen since last year, Mr Dick was wanted by Norfolk police in connection with an assault in Thetford the day before his disappearance.
Mr Dick grew up in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire before he served in the Marines and moved to Suffolk.
His sister, Amy Hooper, said Mr Dick had been "under an extraordinary amount of stress" in the lead up to his disappearance.
She added: "John and I are Letchworth born and bred. We went to Northfields Infants' and Nursery School, the Grange and then Norton.
"We spent our summers down at the open air [swimming pool] and walking through the common - even when our mum told us not to.
"We’ve been living an absolute nightmare that has ended in the worst possible way.
"I know many of you will have met him in his 37 years with us and I know he was much-loved by so many."
In a statement, Mr Dick’s family said: "We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our John.
"He was a wonderful man who was funny, kind, generous and trusting and, from the stories that have been shared, it is clear that this has been seen far and wide by so many people.
"Everyone that knew him is better for knowing him and John will be forever missed.
"He was so very loved as a daddy, husband, son and brother and our hearts are shattered at our loss."