A body found by woodland volunteers has been confirmed as that of the missing mother-of-two Anita Stevenson.
Ms Stevenson, who originally comes from Bradford, Yorkshire, had been missing for more than a month, having disappeared from her home in Birkenhead on October 28.
Now, police officers say that a body discovered in Bromborough woodland belongs to Mrs Stevenson. A post mortem examination is now being undertaken to determine exactly how Mrs Stephenson, 39, died.
Specialist police support staff are helping Mrs Stephenson’s family after her body was discovered by volunteers who had been working to clear a section of woodland in the Wirral, Merseyside.
Her family and loved ones had set up a Facebook page to appeal for information about the whereabouts of Mrs Stephenson but have now posted a message to say that she has been found in the most tragic of circumstances.
In a message, her family thanked everyone who had helped in the search for her as well as praising everyone who sent them their wishes, prayers and tips.
Their statement said: “We cannot thank you all enough for sharing the love for my sister, she was an amazing woman and loved by so many, you all showed how many people’s hearts she touched, so from us all.., thank you.”
Since the post was shared, hundreds of further messages of support and tributes have been added, and hundreds more have shared it.
While he has not yet been named, police did say that they had arrested a man, 41, at the beginning of November on suspicion of Mrs Stephenson’s murder, before her body was found.
Mrs Stephenson’s family and friends had launched a desperate campaign to find her. Groups of people even travelled from her home community of Bradford to help with the search efforts by handing out flyers and leaflets.