North Wales: Four bodies found in search for missing teens

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North Wales Police Supt Owain Llewellyn told a press conference that four bodies had been recovered

By Antonia Matthews & Jared Evitts & James McCarthy
BBC News

Four bodies have been found in an overturned, partially submerged car in the search for a group of teenagers who have been missing for two days.

North Wales Police confirmed the bodies were found in the car, which appears to have come off the road on the A4085 in Garreg, near Tremadog, Gwynedd.

Wilf Henderson, Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen and Hugo Morris, from Shrewsbury, have been missing since Sunday morning.

Supt Owain Llewellyn said it “appears to have been a tragic accident”.

Supt Llewellyn said it was thought the group travelled to Harlech on Saturday with plans to camp in Eryri – also called Snowdonia – on Sunday.

Garreg is about 75 miles (120km) from Shrewsbury.

Clockwise from top left: Hugo Morris, Harvey Owen, Jevon Hirst, and Wilf Henderson

They were last seen in a silver Ford Fiesta, which was found during a police search on Tuesday after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Supt Llewellyn said: “Shortly after 10am this morning a member of the public contacted us reporting a vehicle having left the road between Beddgelert and Llanfrothen.

“Police officers attended and located a Ford Fiesta vehicle upside down, partially submerged in water.

Harvey’s mum Crystal earlier said she was “frantically worried” because none of the boys appeared to have used their phones since midday on Sunday

“This has been an extensive search involving a number of different agencies and volunteers and this is sadly not the outcome that any of us would have wanted.”

The force said the teens’ families had been informed, adding that the search had now finished, but inquiries were ongoing to formally identify those in the vehicle, and understand what led to the deaths.

BBC reporter Liam Evans said the road had reopened by 20:00GMT on Tuesday.

Oxon Church in Shrewsbury opened its doors for prayer on Tuesday evening, and Trinity Churches Shrewsbury said there would be some time and space to pray in the Trinity Centre on Wednesday.

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St Chad’s Church, also in the town, said the deaths of the four teens were “in our prayers and thoughts”.

“Our church is open tomorrow for private prayer, peace and reflection,” said its feed on X, formerly Twitter.

The mayor of Shrewsbury, Becky Wall, said on X she was “deeply saddened” by the news.

She said that her “heart goes out to their family and friends who have suffered such immeasurable loss and she sends her deepest condolences. May the Shrewsbury community unite at this terrible time.”

League One side Shrewsbury Town said: “The thoughts and condolences of the club are with everyone affected by this devastating news out of north Wales.”

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford also called it devastating: “My thoughts are with their family and friends during this incredibly difficult time as they deal with the unimaginable”.

Crystal Owen, the mother of Harvey, said earlier on Tuesday that she was “frantically worried”.

She believed the last time the group used their phones was about noon on Sunday from Porthmadog and her son had not logged on to his WhatsApp, which she said was unusual.

All four were students at Shrewsbury College and were doing their A-levels.

In a statement, Shrewsbury Colleges Group called it “truly heartbreaking” and “tragic” and said “our thoughts go out to those affected”.

The group said it would be working directly with affected students and staff and had “put in place a range of support measures for all our community”.

Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury, which the four teenagers previously attended, said in a statement earlier on Tuesday that all four boys were well-thought of and well-known by the school community.

Weather conditions in the area on Monday were cloudy, with showers and strong northerly winds causing significant chill, particularly on higher and more exposed routes, according to the Met Office.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team was called by North Wales Police on Monday afternoon and a coastguard helicopter from Caernarfon searched the area north-east of Porthmadog, but was not able to find anything.

The Welsh Ambulance Service was then called to reports of an incident near the A4085 between Nantmor and Tan-Lan at 10:08 GMT on Tuesday.

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