THE body of a 78-year-old man recovered from the River Exe in Tiverton last week has been named by police as Philip Wordley.

It has been confirmed he died of natural causes and the suspicion is he collapsed and fell into the river while out walking his pet dog last Tuesday evening, January 8.

A relative of Mr Wordley raised the alarm around 8.45pm after becoming concerned when he failed to return home.

Around 30 police officers, PCSOs, firefighters and crew from Exmoor Search and Rescue conducted an initial search along his normal dog walking route, including a stretch along the River Exe adjacent to the Walronds estate.

The Sea King from RMB Chivenor was later dispatched to aid the search and a crew member using night vision goggles eventually spotted Mr Wordley’s body in the water near Colliepriest Road around 12.15am.

His dog was found safe and well and returned to a family member.

See this week’s Star for more on this breaking news.