UK Police Find Body Amid Search for Missing Nigerian Poet Gboyega Odubanjo

Police in the United Kingdom said they discovered a body while searching for Gboyega Odubanjo, a British-Nigerian poet who went missing during a remote music event.

Odubanjo has been missing since the early morning hours of Saturday.

The 27-year-old was last seen at the Shambala event in Northamptonshire’s Kelmarsh region, where he was scheduled to play later that day.

On Wednesday, UK police issued a plea to the public for information that could lead to the poet’s capture.

In a follow-up statement, the police said a body was discovered in the early hours of Thursday after “a specialised search of the area”.

While formal identification has not yet taken place, officers said the family of Odubajo, from Bromley in south-east London, had been informed and are being supported.

Northamptonshire police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

“A body has sadly been found during the search for a 27-year-old man reported missing in Kelmarsh,” the statement reads in part.

“Police officers made the discovery shortly before 9 am on Thursday, August 31, in the course of a specialised search of the area.

“The man had been reported missing on Sunday, August 27, having last been seen at Shambala festival early the previous morning.

“While formal identification has yet to take place, the man’s family has been informed and is being supported by specially trained officers.”

Johnny Campbell, a detective chief inspector, urged the public not to contact the man’s family and “respect their privacy”.

He said a file would be prepared for the coroner.

“Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this very difficult time, and we would ask the media and members of the public to not contact them and respect their privacy,” he said.

“We would like to thank all those involved in the search efforts, including the volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue and the specialist search-trained officers from other forces who supported our efforts.

“We would also like to thank all those who have supported our investigation by speaking to officers or getting in touch with information.

“Officers from Northamptonshire Police will now prepare a file for the coroner.

“The missing persons enquiry was led by detectives from the Force’s CID. Search efforts involved the use of police search dogs, specially-trained police search advisor officers, neighbourhood and response police officers, a police dive team, and volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue, including their trained search dogs.”

Odubanjo is studying for a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire. He works as an editor for Bad Betty Press and the poetry magazine Bath Magg.

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