Body found in search for missing poet Gboyega Odubanjo at Shambala Festival site in Northamptonshire

ANGLIA 300823  Still of Gboyega Odubanjo 
Credit: northants police
Gboyega Odubanjo, 27, had been missing since Saturday, when he was due to give a performance at an arts and music festival. Credit: Northamptonshire Police.

Search teams trying to find a poet who went missing at an arts festival have found a body, police have confirmed.

Gboyega Odubanjo, 27, was last seen on Saturday, hours before he was due to perform at the Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire.

Police have since asked for the public's help to find him, as his family made appeals for him to come forward. They said his disappearance was out of character.

A body, believed to be that of Mr Odubanjo, was found shortly before 9am on Thursday near the festival site in Kelmarsh.

Police said formal identification had not yet taken place, but his family had been informed and were being supported by specially trained officers.

His death is not being treated as suspicious, said Northamptonshire Police.

Mr Odubanjo is from the Bromley area of London and a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire.

Det Ch Insp Johnny Campbell offered his condolences to the family, adding: “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.”

Officers had been searching the festival site and surrounding areas, supported by members of lowland search and rescue teams.

They had asked people not to put themselves at risk by forming their own search parties.

On Wednesday, police said they were still treating Mr Odubanjo's disappearance as a missing persons matter rather than a criminal inquiry.

Mr Odubanjo is an award-winning poet, his pamphlet Aunty Uncle Poems having won the Poetry Business New Poets prize in 2020. He also won the 2021 Eric Gregory award.

His work has also appeared in the Guardian, The Poetry Review and New Statesman.

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