A SEARCH for a missing Haslingden man has been called off after the discovery of a body.

Police had launched an appeal to find 36-year-old Lee James Peel after he was reported missing on Thursday.

Officers and mountain rescue volunteers cancelled the search after he was found hanged on wasteland near Fern Terrace, Haslingden, at 2pm on Saturday.

Whilst formal identification has not yet taken place, police believe the dead man to be Mr Peel.

He was last spotted leaving an address in Fern Terrace and was reported missing at 11.30am on Thursday.

Lancashire police said there were ‘no suspicious circumstances’ surrounding the find of the body, and that a report was being prepared for the coroner.

A police spokesman added: “Officers are comforting friends and relatives at this tragic time and Lancashire police would like to thank everyone who helped support the appeal for the missing man.”

On Saturday, a statement from Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team said: “The team were out today continuing the search from last night, a search which ended in a sad circumstance.

“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased.”

A Facebook page set up in Mr Peel’s memory had attracted more than 800 followers last night.

The tributes included messages from his daughters, Gemma and Kelly, while Abdul Sattar Khan wrote: “An excellent lad with a smile for everyone. He was part of Haslingden's fabric. May he rest in peace.”

Last year Mr Peel, of Bury Road, Haslingden, was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Burnley Magistrates’ Court after admitting criminal damage.

On December 10, the father-of-four caused damage worth £150 when he kicked through the door of his wife’s home a short time after they ended their 20-year relationship. He had previously been jailed for wounding.