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Body found by police hunting boy who vanished amid coronavirus panic

"Samuel Wurth" (2020-04-04)

picjumbo-premium-skyscrapers-collection2A body has been found in woodland by police who were hunting a boy, 17, who vanished having despaired when his A Level exams were called off amid the coronavirus crisis.

Surrey police confirmed that officers discovered the body of teenager they believe to be Oliver Strode in Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire, today.

The boy went missing 11 days ago after he received news that the Covid-19 pandemic would cancel his exams.

Oliver (pictured) vanished 11 days ago and Surrey Police today confirmed that a body has been found in Alice Holt Wood  

Surrey Police tweeted: 'Sadly, a body, believed to be missing teen Oliver Strode, found in Alice Holt Forest 2pm today. His family are aware+being given appropriate support, and our thoughts are with them. Thanks to all who shared appeal+helped w/search.' 

His father, Richard, said he believed his son began to despair when he discovered his A-level qualifications could be decided on his mock exam results, which he had not performed well in. 





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He had already heard the announcement that his school would be closed due to COVID-19 and that his exam results could be decided upon his mocks, in which he had 'not done the best,' according to his father.

His parents called the police when Oliver had not returned to the family home in  Frensham, Surrey.

Pictured: Alice Holt Forest, where the police have found a body believed to be that of Oliver Strode 

A search team led by a police constable used tracker dogs and a helicopter to comb the forest, which had been closed in response to the COVID-19 lockdown.

But the search took an unexpected twist when police recovered Oliver's white mountain bike and some of his clothes - a red cycling jacket and lime green cycling helmet - abandoned inside the forest.

Richard Strode, appealing for people to join in the search for his missing boy, said: 'He left Frensham on Thursday March 19 at 11.45am implying he would be back for lunch after hacking around Alice Holt woods.

'He had just had his A-levels cancelled, not done his best in his mocks and with corona, probably last day of school. No plan to go to uni, so what does the future hold - despair?

'His bike was found in the north of Alice Holt on Friday midday but it is the first time the search and rescue had done a detailed search in the light there so it could have been dumped any time after midday Thursday.'

Oliver's father, a chartered accountant, said his son's mobile was on continuously from the time he went missing to the middle of Friday.

Mr Strode, 48, added: 'This suggests he either turned off to save battery or more likely dumped it so he cannot be traced (he has seen Hunted) and someone found it and recharged it at home perhaps in the Rowledge area.

'If it was found that would be very useful to know. It is a Vodafone Smart N9 and if handed to the police could have some valuable internet search data prior to him going off grid. '

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see website for details. 



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