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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 13:06 GMT
Body of Briton found in a temple
Phuket
Thousands of foreigners were in Thailand when the tsunami hit
Friends of a man missing from a Thai resort since the tsunami devastated the area have found his body, his mother has confirmed.

The body of Jez Stephens, 29, from Norwich, was found in a temple in Krabi, Thailand.

He had not been seen since Christmas Day, his mother Linda Lilley said.

She said the family was now trying to get his body home to the UK so he could be buried in Lympne, Kent, where he had spent his childhood.

Mr Stephens had been enjoying the last week of a three-week holiday on the island of Phi Phi when the earthquake struck.

It sounds odd but we are one of the lucky families because we know where he is and we know he is dead
Linda Lilley,
Jez Stephens' mother
His body was found by friends Craig Cardwell and Gareth Marks on Sunday, Mrs Lilley said.

She said travelling had been her son's passion.

"He had a wanderlust. He had to see the world. He would stay at home and work for a while and then go off travelling.

"It is almost as if he has a life force that would run out on him. He had to do everything at break-neck speed. That was his character," Mrs Lilley said.

Mr Stephens, who worked as a manager for Virgin One Accounts, grew up in Lympne, Kent, but moved to Norwich five years ago with his wife Emma.

The pair have since divorced but Mrs Lilley said he regularly saw his two-year-old daughter Frankie.

She said Mr Stephens would be buried at St Richard's Church, Lympne, in the community where he grew up and at the church where he was confirmed.

"It sounds odd but we are one of the lucky families because we know where he is and we know he is dead.

"Now we just want the body home so we can grieve as a family," Mrs Lilley said.


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