HUNDREDS of volunteers took part in a major search operation in Savernake Forest last week in a vain attempt for find Robert Dunn who had been missing for more than a week.

The alarm was raised when a van he had rented was found abandoned in the forest near Marlborough. Tragically on June 8, (last Saturday) police announced they had found a body following an exhaustive search.

Police said in a statement: “Although formal identification has not yet taken place, we have spoken to Mr Dunn’s family to inform them of the news. There is nothing to suggest any suspicious circumstances at this time. Our thoughts are with Mr Dunn’s family and friends at this very sad time and we would ask people to respect their privacy.”

The news devastated his family and friends and everyone involved in the search. A friend of Mr Dunn, Teri Francis, has set about supporting Mr Dunn's family and leaving a tribute to him with a Go Fund Me page (called missing person Rob Dunn) which has so far more than £6,000 raised. A message on the page says it is to help Rob's family through this time as they prepare for his memorial and that all remaining proceeds that do not directly support the family will go to Wiltshire Search and Rescue.

Friends have left tributes to a 'funny and helpful friend' a FaceBook with a tribute page that asks for photos and memories to create a scrapbook for his family.

Police thanked the volunteers, Lowland Search and Rescue, Serve On, Support2Ops, Raynet, Wessex 4x4 and Rapid Relief team.

Wiltshire Search and Rescue said volunteers came from 21 groups across the country, with locals supplying food and drinks to the searchers.