THE body of a dad-of-four has been found more than 10 weeks after he went missing.

Police are treating the death of Heath Nield, a 31-year-old joiner from Bacup, as 'unexplained'.

His body was discovered after a dog walker found a human leg on land behind Healey Conservative Club in Whitworth.


His family, who were informed of the discovery on Sunday, were too upset to speak yesterday.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: "Police are in the process of recovering the body which appears to have been there for some time and is badly decomposed.

"While formal identification has not yet been carried out police believe there is a strong possibility that the body is that of Heath Nield, 31, who went missing from his home in Rochdale Road, Bacup, in July.

"Mr Nield's family have been made aware of the latest development.

"Further forensic tests will need to be carried out to confirm the identity of the body."

Mr Nield was last seen at a friend's house in Rochdale on July 11 at 7.20am.

His family made an emotional appeal for information on his whereabouts last month.

His mum Christine Mitton, who he had been living with since April at her home in Bacup, said her ‘happy, positive’ son had become depressed after losing his job.

His brother Jon, 44, from Helmshore, said Mr Nield was a 'loving, caring lad'.

Jack Partington, a resident of Ending Rake, near to where Mr Nield was found, said he had seen the police carrying out searches of the area with sniffer dogs for a fortnight.

The retired 66-year-old, who has lived in the area for 15 years, said: “It’s not something you would expect around here. It’s such a lovely area.

“There’s been a lot of police activity up on the moor at the back. I think they put two and two together with the missing person appeal.

“It’s incredibly shocking to know this has happened nearby."