A BODY discovered by a farmer in a ditch has been identified as that of a missing Ramsey man.

A BODY discovered last week by a farmer in a ditch has been identified as a missing Ramsey man.

Cambridgeshire coroner's office confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) that the body is that of Reginald Howse, who was last seen on May 9 leaving Sunday service at St Thomas à Becket Church in Ramsey.

The 83-year-old's disappearance led to his family launching a public appeal for information, but it was not until last Tuesday afternoon, when a farmer was clearing a ditch in a field off St Mary's Road, Ramsey, that his body was discovered.

Cambridgeshire police said the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Speaking to The Hunts Post yesterday, Mr Howse's daughter, Jenny Lee, said the family were deeply saddened by the news but said it provided closure.

Mrs Lee, 55, of Brookfield Way, Bury, said: "It feels real now. We knew there was a possibility that it was dad when we heard that a body had been discovered in Ramsey. But after what happened last time, we had doubts until we had a positive identification.

"We feel saddened but relieved that we have been given some form of closure."

She said how he came to be in a ditch three fields away from his home was a mystery.

"It wasn't a route he regularly walked. It's a mystery why he was there. But we do not want to speculate at this time."

She added: "The family wishes to thank the police and the friends and members of the public who phoned in with information to try to help find dad. Their support was very much appreciated."

His disappearance was in the media spotlight in July when police wrongly believed a body found in Whittlesey was Mr Howse's. Police informed his family that his body had been found, but later had to admit the mistake.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned, and a post-mortem examination has so far been unable to ascertain the cause of death.