TESTS will be carried out this week to identify a body found in a shallow grave in the Ribble Valley, which is believed to be murder victim David Guilfoyle.

Police carried out a major search of woodland in Bolton-by-Bowland after Mr Guilfoyle’s murderer, Shane Fitzpatrick, told police where he had buried the body.

More than 50 police, army and forensic archaeologists with dogs and a mechanical digger had searched for Mr Guilfoyle’s body for a week.

The discovery was made during a painstaking combing of the last patch of woodland identified as the burial site by the killer, who is serving a life sentence.

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that officers searching an area of Admirals Wood in Bolton-by-Bowland have found a body. The searches were carried out after new information was passed to police about the possible whereabouts of the body of David Guilfoyle.

“Mr Guilfoyle, 37, of Accrington, was murdered by Shane Fitzpatrick at his home in May 2005, but his body was never found.

“Fitzpatrick, 42, of Hapton, was convicted of murder in July 2006 and jailed for life.

“While it is too early at this stage to confirm whether the body if that of Mr Guilfoyle, we have specialist officers supporting his family and they are aware of this development and are being kept informed.”

A formal identification is expected midweek.

Fitzpatrick, a 42-year-old former Burnley printer jailed for at least 20 years in 2006, is said to have killed Mr Guilfoyle outside his home in Royds Avenue, Accrington, in a fit of rage after discovering he was dating his ex-wife and mother of his children.