POLICE hunting for missing man Richard Gibbons have recovered human remains from woodland in Poole.

The grim discovery was made at Bourne Valley Park, between Evering Avenue and Berkeley Avenue, at the weekend.

The coroner has been informed and inquiries are now underway to officially establish the identity of the body.

Police have been in contact with his family. 

Richard's daughter Rachel said: “We've had a lot of people helping us from the start and we'd like to thank them all. I know they are feeling it for us.

"We'd also like to thank the Bournemouth Echo, not all media has been as helpful. You're the only ones that when we've asked you have done something to help.”

The Daily Echo ran a series of stories highlighting the search for Mr Gibbons, and asking for anyone with information to come forward, after his disappearance last spring.

The family also launched an online Facebook appeal for information.

Rachel said: “This is a lot to take in so now we just want our privacy and time to grieve. It's just been a rollercoaster of emotion, as this is not the first time we've thought a body was my dad. We've gone through many DNA tests. This is a match, but we're still a bit in denial.”

There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.

Mr Gibbons, 54, a father-of-six, grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of two, went missing from his Alderney home on April 18 last year.

He had not been seen since but his family never gave up hope of finding him safe and well.

His granddaughter, Layla Fossey, seven, made an emotional appeal for his return at Christmas.