‘Body found’ in hunt for missing backpacker

A body has reportedly been found by police searching for Yorkshire backpacker Gareth Huntley who went missing in the Malaysian jungle.

of Janet Southwell with her son Gareth Huntley

The body was found today in a pond a few yards from a kayak storage unit near the Juara Turtle Project where the 34-year-old had been working, according to local reports.

Deputy Superintendent Johari Yahaya reported the discovery but could not confirm whether the body was that of the missing Briton, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.

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A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and are looking into them.”

Mr Huntley, originally from the Leeds-Bradford border area, had not been seen since he went on a trek to visit a waterfall in Tioman Island, off the south eastern coast of the country’s mainland, on Tuesday morning.

He told friends at the headquarters of a nearby charity project where he was volunteering that he would return by 2pm the same day but failed to come back.

The trek to the waterfall reportedly involves slippery, poorly marked paths surrounded by dense jungle.

Mr Huntley’s girlfriend Kit Natariga arrived on the island earleir this week, while his mother, Janet Southwell, from Bradford, was due on the island yesterday.