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Police have confirmed the identity of a body found near Ringwood on Wednesday, February 27th as 17-year-old Ross Haughey from Abbotswell Road, Frogham.
Ross was last seen at about 1.30pm Sunday, February 25, when he left his home, telling his parents he was going for a walk. He did not return.
Police mounted a series of searches, including the use of police dogs, Dorset Police air support, search volunteers, local residents and pupils from Burgate School, where Ross was a sixth form student.
Police continue, on behalf of the coroner, to investigate the circumstances of the death.
Ross' family have released the following statement:
“The tragic news of our much-loved son Ross has devastated our family, relatives and friends. This has been the hardest thing that we have ever had to cope with.
“Ross was quiet, intelligent and had achieved excellent GCSE exam results which he was very proud of. He was doing well in his sixth form A-level studies.
“Ross loved his running and was proud to represent the Hampshire area and also did well in the 10 kilometre runs.
“We were overwhelmed by all the offers of help to search for Ross in the New Forest.
"We cannot thank everyone enough and would like to send our special thanks to relatives, friends and neighbours, the police and voluntary search crews as well as the Burgate School and sixth form that took part in the search.
“We miss Ross desperately at this time and would ask that you continue to respect our privacy.”