SULSAR volunteers praised after Leavenheath search in difficult conditions

Search and rescue teams at Leavenheath village hall this afternoon. Picture: BEN SADLER

Search and rescue teams at Leavenheath village hall this afternoon. Picture: BEN SADLER

The professionalism of a group of search volunteers has been praised following the discovery of a man’s body near Leavenheath.

Richard Hull. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Richard Hull. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The body, believed to be that of missing Richard Hull, was found in a wooded area close to the village on Sunday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.

A large-scale search for the 52-year-old began in difficult weather conditions on Sunday with police officers being joined by Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) volunteers.

Specialist search dogs from the National Search and Rescue Dog Association Anglia also took part in the search.


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Ben Sadler, vice-chairman of Leavenheath Parish Council, said SULSAR used the village hall as a base for their search.

He said: “They asked if they could use the kitchen facilities and toilets at the village hall.

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“The only complication was that there was a children’s party scheduled for the afternoon but it all worked out.

“I don’t know exactly where the man’s body was found in the end but it was a large area they had to cover and it was chucking it down with sleet and snow, and was very cold.

“They [SULSAR] were really impressive.

“Everything from the maps and radios to the vehicles they were using, it was very professional.”

Andy King, from SULSAR, said: “We were actually training in Wattisham when the call came in so we were able to deploy very quickly.

“It was a big search of around 50 people, with six teams out.

“The body was found by a SULSAR team around 2.45pm.

“It was hard going for the teams who were out there as it was snowing quite heavily.

“With the number of vehicles we had, we needed somewhere to be able to park them so asked police if the village hall could be made available.

“The only problem was there was a children’s party but they managed to work around us.

“It was a God-send really, especially for the teams who had been out as it was extremely cold.

“Unfortunately, it was a sad conclusion.”

A cordon was put in place following the discovery.

Formal identification has yet to take place but the body is believed to be Mr Hull’s, who was reported missing on Saturday.

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