THE family of a 13-year-old Doncaster boy who was found dead in a ditch three days after he went missing have criticised police over their handling of the search.
As tributes were paid to Lewis Eddleston, whose body was found near his home yesterday, his brother Michael said the family was “very angry” with the lack of initiative by officers.
He told ITV: “My mum has sat at home having to phone the police every few hours.
“But we didn’t even get phone calls from them, no updates. We’ve just been sat there having to do it ourselves. We’ve been on our own, apart from the community.”
Police today officially confirmed that the body found close to the Boulevard in Edenthorpe was that of Lewis, who lived nearby.
A post-mortem examination revealed he died by drowning soon after he was seen leaving playing fields on Sunday evening, police said.
His death is not being treated as suspicious.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Family liaison officers continue to support Lewis’s family at this difficult time.
“South Yorkshire Police wish to reiterate its thanks to the local community for the support provided in the search for Lewis, which was complicated by a number of false sightings reported on social media sites.
“An investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the tragic event.”
Graham Wakeling, the head teacher of Hungerhill School, which Lewis attended, said: “The school community is devastated by the news of Lewis’s sudden death which was a shock to us all.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and close friends at this very difficult time. Lewis was an extremely popular young man with a good sense of humour.
“He was a lively character around the school and always had a smile on his face. Lewis will be sadly missed by pupils and staff at Hungerhill.”
A number of teenagers and adults left flowers at the police cordon as news of the discovery spread yesterday.
Jack Neal, 14, said he was in the same school year as Lewis. “He liked to have fun,” Jack said. “He always had a laugh. He was a good friend.”
Jack’s mother Clair Neal said: “There’s a lot of youngsters this age tonight feeling pretty devastated. There’s lots of upset people. I spoke to a few of the mums that’ve got children in the same year. He was such a well-liked boy.”