Tragedy of boy, 15, found dead in woods

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AN investigation has begun after a teenage boy was found dead in woods on the edge of a Yorkshire village, just months after his mother lost her fight against cancer

South Yorkshire Police, who are not treating the death as suspicious, were called to an area known locally as the skatepark, near the railway station in Elsecar, Barnsley, after the 15-year-old’s body was discovered on Monday evening.

He has been named locally as Liam Collier. Neighbours said his death follows that of his mother, Deborah, 35, in February following a battle with cancer.

A man standing outside Liam’s family home confirmed his father Alan had already lost his wife and was “devastated”.

Internet tribute sites suggested the teenager had been found hanged, although officers would not confirm this. Another neighbour described Liam as “cheeky” and “mischievous”, adding: “He had a heart of gold.”

A police spokesman said: “Police were called at 8.30pm on Monday night after an incident in a wooded area in Barnsley. Emergency services arrived at the scene, which is off Millhouses Street, Elsecar, and shortly afterwards a local 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead.”

Officers in Barnsley were also called to the junction of Womb-well Lane and Aldham House Lane in nearby Wombwell after a man’s body, which has not been identified, was found at 5.40am yesterday. The road was briefly closed. That death too was not being treated as suspicious by officers.