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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Missing walker's body found
Walkers, generic
Phillip Blake was walking along the England border
Police searching for an elderly hiker who disappeared in the Black Mountains have found a his body.

Phillip Blake, 79, from Cheltenham had set off from the Abergavenny area to walk the Offa's Dyke path on 13 May, but was not seen again.

A big search was launched by police and mountain rescuers across but they wound down the operation a fortnight ago in lieu of positive sightings.

Phillip Blake
Phillip Blake went missing on 13 May in mid Wales
Dyfed-Powys Police detectives informed Mr Blake's family of their find and a formal identification of the body Wednesday confirmed it was that of the hiker.

Ramblers had made the discovery at lunchtime Tuesday near a section of the footpath at Capel-y-Ffin.

Rescue search

Gwent Police had recently appealed for local people to check their sheds and garages.

Searches involving a helicopter and extensive media appeals had failed to turn up any clues.

More than 600 walkers helped rescuers on an extensive hunt of a 27-mile area.

But they admitted recently they would not be organising further searches unless they had a positive sighting.

Looking for the missing man was like trying to find "a needle in a haystack", they said.

Experienced hiker

An experienced walker, Mr Blake was wearing wet weather gear but did not have any overnight camping equipment with him.

The hiker from Herefordshire was last seen wearing blue waterproof trousers, a tweed hat and carrying a rucksack.

The search was initially concentrated in the Hay Bluff area, but police then began searching places where he might have stayed.

Another walker earlier came forward to that he spoke to Mr Blake, but they split up and went in different directions.

See also:

28 May 02 | Wales
20 May 02 | Wales
16 May 02 | Wales
16 May 02 | Wales
08 Feb 02 | Wales
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