Tributes to Leeds teenager after body found in woods UPDATED

Police in the search for Leeds teenager Joseph Hughes.
Police in the search for Leeds teenager Joseph Hughes.
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Friends have paid tribute to a Leeds teenager following the discovery of a body in a wooded area.

Police have called off the search for missing 17-year-old Joseph Hughes, a pupil at Garforth Academy, after the body was found on Thursday.

Garforth Academy’s principal Paul West also paid tribute to Joseph, known to his friends as Joe, as the tragic news spread across the school yesterday.

As reported in the YEP, the sixth former, from Colton, was last seen leaving home on his bicycle at 4pm on Wednesday.

The body, which was found on the edge of a wooded area to the south of Colton, had not been formally identified yesterday but is believed to be that of Joe.

Mr West said: “Everyone at Garforth Academy is extremely saddened to hear the tragic news about the death of Joseph. Joe was a popular and talented young man who was well respected by staff and students alike.”

He added: “We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family, particularly his parents Mark and Lesley and his brother Jack, who is a former student of Garforth Academy.”

Some of Joe’s devastated friends also paid tribute to the teenager on Twitter yesterday.

One close friend, Megan McDermott, said: “One of the nicest, most genuine lad I’ve ever met, you will be missed so much.”

She added: “It’s awful to think Joe didn’t think he had anyone to talk to, I wish he could see how much he meant to everyone.”

Charlie Midgley said: “Can’t believe this has happened, only yesterday was having a laugh with him. Such a lovely lad, never had a bad thing to say.”

Joe himself had a Twitter page, on which he talked about how he was looking forward to leaving school and getting a job.

He tweeted last Friday about a job interview with and his last tweet on Monday read: “Need a full time job and to get out of sixth form, fast!”

Poignantly, his Twitter catchline reads: “Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is Mystery” and he re-tweeted a message from cricketer Kevin Pietersen on the day he vanished.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out early next week, with an inquest expected to open shortly afterwards.

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