UK police find body amid search for missing Nigerian poet Gboyega Odubanjo


The police in UK say it found a body during the search for Gboyega Odubanjo, the British-Nigerian poet who went missing at a rural music festival.


Odubanjo has been missing since the early hours of Saturday morning.


The 27-year-old was last spotted at the Shambala festival in the Kelmarsh area of Northamptonshire, where he was due to perform later that day.


On Wednesday, the UK police appealed to the public for information that could help find the poet.


In a follow-up statement, the police said a body was discovered in the early hours of Thursday after “a specialised search of the area”.


While formal identification has not yet taken place, officers said the family of Odubajo, from Bromley in south-east London, had been informed and are being supported.


Northamptonshire police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.


 “A body has sadly been found during the search for a 27-year-old man reported missing in Kelmarsh,” the statement reads in part.


“Police officers made the discovery shortly before 9am on Thursday, August 31, in the course of a specialised search of the area.


“The man had been reported missing on Sunday, August 27, having last been seen at Shambala festival early the previous morning.


“While formal identification has yet to take place, the man’s family has been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.”


Johnny Campbell, a detective chief inspector, urged the public not to contact the man’s family and “respect their privacy”.


He said a file will be prepared for the coroner.


“Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this very difficult time, and we would ask the media and members of the public to not contact them and respect their privacy,” he said.


“We would like to thank all those involved in the search efforts, including the volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue and the specialist search-trained officers from other forces who supported our efforts.


 “We would also like to thank all those who have supported our investigation by speaking to officers or getting in touch with information.


“Officers from Northamptonshire Police will now prepare a file for the coroner.


“The missing persons enquiry was led by detectives from the Force’s CID. Search efforts involved the use of police search dogs, specially-trained police search advisor officers, neighbourhood and response police officers, a police dive team, and volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue, including their trained search dogs.”


Odubanjo is studying for a Ph.D. at the University of Hertfordshire. He works as an editor for Bad Betty Press and the poetry magazine Bath Magg.

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