Body found in search for missing Poet Gboyega Odubanjo
UK police have announced a grim discovery during their search for the missing British-Nigerian poet, Gboyega Odubanjo, who vanished during the Shambala music festival in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire.
The 27-year-old poet, who had been scheduled to perform at the festival, was last seen in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Authorities launched an extensive search for Odubanjo after his disappearance, appealing to the public for any information that could aid in locating him.
Tragically, in the early hours of Thursday, August 31, the police announced that a body had been found during a specialised search of the area. While formal identification is pending, Odubanjo’s family from Bromley in south-east London has been notified and is receiving support.
Northamptonshire police have stated that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
“A body has sadly been found during the search for a 27-year-old man reported missing in Kelmarsh,” the statement reads in part.
“Police officers made the discovery shortly before 9am on Thursday, August 31, in the course of a specialised search of the area.
“The man had been reported missing on Sunday, August 27, having last been seen at Shambala festival early the previous morning.
“While formal identification has yet to take place, the man’s family has been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.”
Detective Chief Inspector Johnny Campbell urged the public to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time. He confirmed that a file would be prepared for the coroner as part of the ongoing investigation.
The search efforts for Odubanjo were comprehensive, involving various police units and volunteers. These included police search dogs, specialised police search advisors, neighbourhood and response officers, a police dive team, and members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue, along with their trained search dogs.
Odubanjo is studying for a Ph.D. at the University of Hertfordshire. He is also known for his work as an editor for Bad Betty Press and the poetry magazine Bath Magg. His disappearance and the subsequent discovery of a body have cast a pall over the Shambala festival and left the poetry and literary community deeply saddened.