Body is found in the hunt for missing British diplomat, 52

Body is found in the hunt for missing British diplomat, 52, who disappeared after going for a run from his £1m home

  • Richard Morris was last seen on May 6 leaving his £1m home in Bentley, Hants
  • Hampshire police today said a body was found nearby in Alice Holt Forest
  • Formal identification has not yet taken place but family have been notified
  • Mr Morris had been due to take up position as High Commissioner to Fiji in July 

Police searching for a diplomat who disappeared after going for a jog nearly four months ago announced today they had found a body two miles from his home.

Richard Morris, 52, was last seen on the morning of May 6 after leaving his £1m detached home in the village of Bentley, near Alton, Hants, to go running.

Hampshire Constabulary said today a body had been found in nearby Alice Holt Forest – where Mr Morris was known to take part in Park Runs.

Police, who are not treating the death as suspicious, had previously spent days combing the dense woodland for any sign of the married father of three.

Richard Morris, 52, and family. He married Alison in 1992 and they have a daughter and two sons

The father-of-three was formerly the UK Ambassador to Nepal between 2015 and 2019 (pictured with Prince Harry in 2016)

Mr Morris had been due to take up the position of British High Commissioner to Fiji in July.

He was the ambassador to Nepal between 2015 and November 2019 and accompanied the Duke of Sussex on a tour of the country in 2016.

Mr Morris took up his post in Nepal six months after the devastating earthquake that decimated many parts of the country and claimed some 9,000 lives.

He had previously been head of the Pacific department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and held senior diplomatic posts including in Australia and Mexico.

A missing person appeal was launched on Thursday, a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We’ve been making enquiries but are now turning to you for your help 

A Hampshire police search team scour Alice Holt Woods in May

Mr Morris (pictured) has been deemed ‘high risk’ because of the circumstances of how he went missing

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said tonight: ‘Officers investigating the disappearance of Richard Morris from Bentley have today found a body in Alice Holt Forest.

‘Formal identification has not yet taken place, but the 52-year-old’s family have been notified. They are being supported by specialist officers.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’

Mr Morris married his wife Alison in 1992 and they have one daughter and two sons. In his spare time, Mr Morris enjoyed long-distance running, reading, travel, music and spending time with his family.

Alison was his girlfriend at school. The couple went off to different universities but resumed their relationship in their early 20s.

Missing Diplomat Richard Morris’ illustrious career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Richard Morris was born on November 1, 1967 in Worcestershire.

He studied for a BA Hons in English literature from Aberystwyth University (which included a one-year scholarship to the University of Illinois).

He was awarded an MBA from Aston University. 

He undertook contract work for Touche Ross Management Consultancy as part of his MBA.

He entered the Foreign and Commonwealth Office via an open competition (1990).  

Richard Morris, 52, (pictured) was last seen at 10.50am on Wednesday, May 6, in Alton. He went missing from his home in Bentley that day

Mr Morris married wife Alison in 1992 and they have one daughter and two sons. 

He has held multiple roles in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over a nearly 30-year career.  

Assistant Desk Officer, Non-Proliferation and Defence Department (1990 to 1991).

Assistant Desk Officer, Cultural Relations Department (1991 to 1992); undertook a temporary duty to the United Kingdom Mission to United Nations, New York (1993).

Third Secretary (Political), British High Commission, Ottawa (1993 to 1996).

Second Secretary (Political), British High Commission, Bridgetown (1996 to 2000).

Head of Resource Accounting and Budgeting Team (2000 to 2001).

Head of Assistance Group in Consular Directorate in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2001 to 2004).

Deputy head of mission and consul general at the British Embassy in Mexico City (January 2005 to June 2008).

Between 2008 and 2012 he was consul general in Sydney and director general of trade and investment for the Australasia region. 

Mr Morris was head of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s pacific department from 2013 to 2015. 

UK Ambassador to Nepal between 2015 and 2019.

He is due to begin a new role as British High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji in July 2020.

He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM) and of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (FRSA). 

Source: www.gov.uk 

 

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