North Wales: Four bodies found in search for missing teens

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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 told a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that 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.

They were last seen in a silver Ford Fiesta, which was found during a police search on Tuesday following 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 Owen in the middle of a group of people holding a crab by the pincers and smiling

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.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford called it “devastating” news.

My thoughts are with their family and friends during this incredibly difficult time as they deal with the unimaginable,” he added.

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.

Map of north west Wales Showing the towns of Porthmadog, where the car was found near Garreg and Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)

Map of north west Wales Showing the towns of Porthmadog, where the car was found near Garreg and Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)

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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