Weymouth family devastated after missing man found dead
10:00am Monday 1st March 2010
A DEVASTATED Weymouth family has spoken of their grief after they found their missing son dead in woodland.
David Franklin’s body was discovered near the makeshift campsite he had been living in near Briantspuddle by his father Neil, brother Baz and sister Toni on Saturday afternoon.
Police said the cause of death is not yet known but it is not being treated as suspicious.
The family said they made they discovery after searching for 30-year-old David, who suffered from depression, for over a week.
Former Army staff sergeant Neil Franklin, 51, of Corporation Road, Westham, said: “We found him close to the camp that we found the other day.
“We had been out combing the woods for David for seven or eight days because we know how stretched Dorset Police are at this time.
“Everybody’s been brilliant, especially the police, but we knew that, with their limited resources, it was down to us.”
Mr Franklin added: “The whole family is very upset.
“We’re also a very private family and we’re not up for speaking any more about this at the moment.
“We’re very grateful for the help that everybody, including the Dorset Echo, has given to us in looking for him, but we now wish to be left alone.”
David’s father and brother had been searching for him for more than a week in woods near Briantspuddle with help from other family members and friends before they discovered his body.
Their hopes that David might be found alive and well were renewed just days ago following the discovery of a makeshift campsite David had been living in at Oakers Wood.
Neil and Baz Franklin said they had found David’s name carved into a tree at the campsite as well as a used box of his anti-depressant drugs and chopped firewood.
The campsite was discovered just two miles from David’s abandoned Mitsubishi Charisma five-door saloon.
David disappeared from his home in Weymouth earlier in February and his family said he had gone off walking in woods before.
On the last occasion, David left his home with only his wallet and a pouch of tobacco and had not used his cash cards.
The family was assisted in their search of the woods near Briantspuddle by around 40 volunteers as well as Dorset Police and members of Dorset Search and Rescue.
Searches were also conducted near Stonehenge as it was known to be one of David’s favourite spots as he was a keen walker.
Dorset Police spokesman Kevin Sargent confirmed that David Franklin’s body was found on Saturday. He said that the thoughts of investigating officers are with the Franklin family.