Body found at Mansfield quarry in search for Ciaran

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Police searching for missing Mansfield schoolboy Ciaran Sweeney discovered the body of a teenage boy in a quarry yesterday morning.

It was found at Mansfield Sand Company’s Ratcher Hill Quarry, Southwell Road, at 10.15am.

Oak Tree Estate teenager Ciaran has been missing from home for more than two weeks now after running away following an argument with his mother.

A police search for the 14-year-old schoolboy has been intensifying as officers continued to draw a blank more than two weeks since his disappearance.

When the body was found yesterday a Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said a cordon had been placed at the quarry while forensic investigations were conducted.

She added: “The identity of the body cannot be confirmed until a post-mortem examination has been carried out, but we will continue to support Ciaran’s family.”

Ciaran was seen running across Oak Tree Heath Nature Reserve on 14th September in just his slippers after rowing with his mother and was reported missing the same day.

Since then police have carried out door-to-door enquiries and even searched people’s gardens and out-houses on the estate.

During a press conference at Oaktree Heath Nature Reserve near the boy’s home on Friday Mansfield Chief Inspector Paul Winter had said the search would be focused on the Oak Tree area and police suspected someone may be hiding Ciaran on the estate.

“It is now more than two weeks since he went missing and we believe that someone must know something about his whereabouts,” he said.

“If you are offering Ciaran shelter, food and water, you might think you are helping him but we need you to get in touch with us urgently. Our priority is to make sure he is safe.”

Over the weekend police officers handed out leaflets with Ciaran’s details and a police car with a loud hailer was seen driving through the estate asking for information on his whereabouts.

Chf Insp Winter also appealed directly to Ciaran through the media to come home.

He said: “Ciaran, if you are watching this we need to know you are safe and well. As far as we are concerned you are not in trouble.

“If you do not want to go home, go to a police station or just speak to a PCSO or a police officer.”

As the police search gathered pace Ciaran’s mother, Rheane O’Neil, issued a heartfelt appeal through Chad on Friday for information which might help bring her son home again.

Then on Monday officers returned to Ciaran’s school, Mansfield’s Samworth Church Academy, in the hope that pupils might share any information which could help in the search.

A spokesman for the academy, said: “Everyone is very worried about our friend and student, Ciaran.”

As news emerged of a body being found at Ratcher Hill Quarry yesterday, Jon Boulton, managing director of Mansfield Sand Company, told Chad: “All at Mansfield Sand Company wish to convey our sincere condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the young man found today.

“The police are currently carrying out a full investigation into the tragic incident and until such time as their investigation is complete we are unable to make further comment.”