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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 10:53 GMT
Park body forensic work continues
Police and scenes of crime officers at the park
The body found in Whitehead park has not yet been identified
Forensic work is continuing at a Greater Manchester park a day after a body was found by police searching for missing 11-year-old Joe Geeling.

The body was found hidden in a wooded gulley in Whitehead Park, Ainsworth, Bury, on Thursday morning, by police and rescue teams searching for the boy.

Police are still questioning a 14-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder following Joe's disappearance.

Joe was last seen on his way home from St Gabriel's High School on Wednesday.

Detectives said Joe's parents had been informed about the development, but the body has not yet been identified.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family
Head teacher, Eddie P Robinson

Joe, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, was seen on Manchester Road at 1600 GMT on Wednesday.

His school is just a 15-minute walk from the youngster's home on Devon Street.

Head teacher Eddie P Robinson said: "Earlier this morning we were informed by the police that a body has been found in Whitehead Park.

"We are aware that we have a pupil missing from school - Joe Geeling.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

11-year-old Joe Geeling
Joe Geeling was last seen in the Manchester Road area of Bury
Temperatures fell to -5C in the area overnight as up to 30 members of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team mounted a huge search operation.

Search parties - including police, Joe's family and neighbours - checked woodland areas around St Gabriel's School on Wednesday night and resumed the search on Thursday.

Supt Peter Scofield of Greater Manchester Police said the body had been found in a gulley shaded by trees at the side of the park, by officers who were searching the area.

"To the side of the grassland there is a gulley where officers noticed what came to be a body that had been hidden in that area."

Mr Scofield said he did not anticipate any more arrests would be made in connection with the discovery of the body.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said Joe's parents, Gwen and Thomas, were "very upset".

"They're a very nice family. It's terrible what's happened.

"Joe had cystic fibrosis, but you wouldn't have known it. He could ride a bike and he was active.

"They've had friends and family outside the house today. Everybody's very upset."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See aerial footage of the area where the body was found



SEE ALSO:
Police hunt for missing schoolboy
02 Mar 06 |  Manchester


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