Elderly dog walker was pulled from Exe
A FORMAL identification and post mortem examination were being carried out on an elderly Tiverton man whose body was recovered from the River Exe, as the Gazette went to press.
A coroner in Exeter was carrying out these tasks yesterday (Monday) before opening an inquest.
The 78-year-old man was reported missing by a relative after he failed to return home after going for a walk with his dog last Tuesday evening (January 8).
The man's body was subsequently recovered from the river at around 12.30am on Wednesday morning.
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The search began at around 8.45pm with a Sea King Search and Rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor in North Devon which was called in to assist in the hunt.
A large number of police officers, two fire crews and the Exmoor Search and Rescue team were all involved in the search along the River Exe close to the town centre.
Using an infrared camera, the helicopter team found an object in the river at around 12.25am, and this was confirmed as a body and was recovered within half-an-hour.
The Sea King hovered over the river while lowering a winchman to the water.
The man had gone out for a walk with the dog at around 6.30pm and the alarm was raised when he had still not returned more than two hours later.
Forensics officers visited the scene last Wednesday morning to examine the area for evidence, although Devon and Cornwall Police say the death was not being treated as suspicious.
DC Ian Henshaw said officers were "collating information" at the scene and that he had "more resources available" at his disposal if additional manpower was required.
He said police officers were keen to hear from other dog walkers or members of the public who may have been near the river and saw anything that might be able to help explain the sequence of events. He advised members of the public with any information to contact Tiverton CID on 101.
The man's next of kin has been informed.
The dog was found safe and well nearby and returned to a family member.