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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 18:04 GMT
Park body is missing 11-year-old
11-year-old Joe Geeling
Joe Geeling was last seen in the Manchester Road area of Bury
A body found in a park near the home of a missing schoolboy has been identified as that of the 11-year-old.

Joe Geeling, of Bury, Greater Manchester, had been last seen on Wednesday on his way home from school.

The body was found hidden in a wooded gulley in Whitehead Park on Thursday. Police said a number of items had been used to try to conceal the body.

Officers have been given until Sunday morning to question a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of murder.

The teenage suspect was arrested on Thursday.

Police forensic teams also began searching a semi-detached house at about the same time as the arrest.

The body was removed from the park on Friday evening and taken to a mortuary pending a post-mortem examination on Saturday and a formal identification.

Joe, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, was last seen on Manchester Road on his way home from St Gabriel's RC High School.

Police and scenes of crime officers at the park
The body was found in Whitehead Park on Thursday

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

Head teacher Eddie Robinson said Joe's death had "shocked and shaken" the whole school.

"Naturally our school community is shocked by the death of Joe Geeling, one of our year 7 pupils and our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family at this difficult time," he said.

"Joe was a lovely well-mannered boy who is going to be greatly missed by all of his teachers, friends and fellow pupils here at St Gabriel's.

"We are mindful of the emotional trauma this has placed on our pupils and staff, and we are very grateful for the support we are receiving from our priests, the wider church community and the local authority.

"Obviously, circumstances surrounding Joe's death have shaken our school community.

"We would welcome the time and space to deal with this over the coming days and weeks and it would be greatly appreciated if you would extend this courtesy to Joe's family."

Boy's body 'concealed' in gulley
03 Mar 06 |  Manchester
Park body forensic work continues
03 Mar 06 |  Manchester
Police hunt for missing schoolboy
02 Mar 06 |  Manchester

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