31 August 2020 22:33
Police searching for missing diplomat Richard Morris have found a body in the forest where he jogged regularly. Detectives have not formally identified the body, but Mr Morris's family has been told of the discovery. The former UK ambassador to Nepal, 52, vanished on 6 May after setting out on a run from his home in the village of Bentley, Hampshire. Image: Officers spent a month searching for the diplomat in a forest and surrounding areas Police searched Alice Holt Forest near Farnham and other areas where the father-of-three was known to run regularly, but scaled down their operation a month later. They appealed for sightings from other runners and asked them to check his profile on the running app Strava, while motorists were asked for footage from dashboard cameras.
Advertisement Hampshire Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner. Mr Morris's family is being supported by specialist officers, Hampshire Police said. Adventurer Ben Fogle, who had previously called for people to search for his friend, posted on Instagram: "My thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the Morris family after the body of missing diplomat Richard Morris was found today. "He was a good man. Life can be cruel. Love and peace." Image: Mr Morris was ambassador to Nepal from 2015 to 2019 The diplomat was last seen by a member of the public at about 10.50am on 6 May, running in Isington Road, Alton. Officers searched more than 3.4 square miles (9sq km) of land and water in Alice Holt Forest as well as areas of Alton and Binstead. They also viewed CCTV footage and carried out house-to-house inquiries but found nothing by June, when they halted the search. Mr Morris had a distinctive strawberry mark on his face. With good humour, he once joked it was his advantage in the diplomatic world. He said: "In a room full of ambassadors they always remember the Brit." Before he vanished, Mr Morris had been appointed High Commissioner to Fiji. Image: Mr Morris was with Prince Harry during his royal tour of Nepal in 2016 He was the UK's ambassador to Nepal between 2015 and November 2019, and was with Prince Harry during his tour of the country in 2016. Before that, he headed the Pacific department in the Foreign Office and has held senior diplomatic posts including in Australia and Mexico. He was a regular participant in the weekly Alice Holt run on Saturdays, a 5km route around the forest where his body was found.