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'It's heartless' - Items from vigil for missing schoolboy removed from seafront bench

PUBLISHED: 14:11 21 August 2019

Items from a show of support for the family of a missing six-year-old boy have gone missing from a bench in Gorleston. Picture: Kelkel Knight.

Items from a show of support for the family of a missing six-year-old boy have gone missing from a bench in Gorleston. Picture: Kelkel Knight.

Archant

Balloons and candles supporting the family of a missing schoolboy were removed from a seafront bench, upsetting the woman who had arranged the vigil.

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @Cjbarr09 of a vigil set up in Aylesham for Lucas Dobson, the six-year old who went missing after falling into a river in Sandwich on Saturday afternoon. Picture: PA Wire/PA ImagesHandout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @Cjbarr09 of a vigil set up in Aylesham for Lucas Dobson, the six-year old who went missing after falling into a river in Sandwich on Saturday afternoon. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

The items had been placed on Gorleston promenade by Kelkel Knight, 39, in a show of solidarity with the family of Lucas Dobson.

The six-year-old went missing on Saturday afternoon after he fell into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, while on a fishing trip with his family.

Police searched the river for five days and a body was found on Wednesday (August 21).

Ms Knight said people around the country had been lighting candles in support for the boy and his family.

Kent Police officers from the search and marine unit scour a section of the River Stour as their search for missing six-year-old Lucas Dobson, who fell into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, on Saturday afternoon. Picture: PA Wire/PA ImagesKent Police officers from the search and marine unit scour a section of the River Stour as their search for missing six-year-old Lucas Dobson, who fell into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, on Saturday afternoon. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

On Tuesday (August 20), she bought two balloons, two red bows, as well as one large and six small candles, and arranged them on the bench.

"Red is the little boy's favourite colour," she said.

After placing the items on the bench, she went away to get something to eat for her five-year-old son.

But when she returned, one hour later, the two balloons, the large candle and four of the small candles were gone.

"I just don't know how someone can be so heartless to do a thing like that," Ms Knight said.

"People had walked past and said how nice it was, even the street cleaners," she added.

Kent Police have said the body has not yet been formally identified but the boy's family have been informed.

Inquiries are continuing but the death is not being treated as suspicious, a police spokesman said.

Chief Inspector Mark Weller said: "This is a deeply tragic and upsetting incident for all concerned, and Lucas' family are understandably devastated.

"We were inundated with offers of assistance from members of the public, who turned out in large numbers to help search for Lucas.

"I know his family are very grateful and touched by the support provided, and I too would like to offer my own personal thanks."

He also thanked emergency services for their efforts.

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