POLICE believe a body found in an isolated spot near Belthorn is that of missing East Lancs man Trevor Whitehead.

The body was found in a stream by a woman who was out on a horse ride Officers said that while formal identification had yet to take place, the body was believed to be that of Mr Whitehead.

The death is not being treated as suspicious, although a post mortem examination will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Mr Whitehead, 51, was last seen in his home town of Accrington on Wednesday, April 9.

Authorities were alerted after he failed to show up his job at the Barnoldswick branch of the Skipton Building Society, where he worked as a customer service adviser.

He had not been in touch with any of his family or friends after that date.

Mr Whitehead was said to be a keen walker who was fond of animals and interested in bird watching.

His disappearance was said to be completely out of character.

The find sees the end of a massive search that included police and mountain rescue teams, although efforts had been primarily around the Hyndburn area.

More than 20 volunteers embarked on six separate searches, combing areas of Hapton, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington and Hambledon moors.

Members of Bolton Mountain Rescue helped with the recovery of Mr Whitehead’s body on Saturday afternoon.

Garry Rhodes from Bolton Mountain Rescue said: “A full team call out was paged just before 3pm to assist police with the recovery of a male’s body in Mean Brook, Belthorn.

“We would like to offer our condolences to the family of the man involved. ”

Graham Daly, of Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, was involved with the previous searches.

He said: “We had certain things that we had to look out for and he was last seen in Accrington so we focused on those areas and had no cause to believe that he was over the Belthorn side.

“We even scoured Witton Park.”