Joshua Smith’s body has been found, his sister confirmed

The body of a 27-year-old man who was last seen walking to work four weeks ago has been found.

Joshua Smith, from Stone in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was spotted on his way to Aston Marina and hadn’t been seen since.

After weeks of searching by Staffordshire Police plus family and friends, his body was found today on a towpath by the Trent and Mersey Canal near Meaford.

Investigations into his disappearance revealed Joshua had walked north alongside the canal towards Newcastle Road, in the Stone, between 9am and 9.15am on October 25. But that was the final confirmed sighting of Joshua.

His body was found on a towpath by a canal

His sister, Hannah Buckley reported the discovery on the Facebook page set up to help with the search for her brother, reports Stoke Sentinel .

She posted: "Josh has now been recovered. Thank you all for your help and support over the past few weeks."

A Staffordshire Police spokesman confirmed a body had been recovered from the scene and enquiries are being made on behalf of HM Coroner.

He said: "This morning, police were called to the vicinity of the Trent and Mersey canal, near Stone, following the report of a body being found by members of the public engaged in a search for Joshua Smith.

"Officers attended and the area is now subject of examination and a body believed to be Joshua has been removed from the scene.

"The family of Joshua have been informed of the situation and are being offered the services of specialist officers during this difficult time. Staffordshire Police are now making enquiries on behalf of HM Coroner.

"Both Joshua’s family and Staffordshire Police would again like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping to search for him."

Hannah had previously written in the Facebook group: "We know from Josh’s internet search history that he purchased a quick acting euthanasia drug, and we believe he took this with him on Tuesday morning.

"Josh is a loving, caring person who is very unwell."

Friends and members of the public have offered their support to Hannah and the family.

Louise Cockburn posted: "Our thoughts are with you all at this very sad time. May you all have some kind of closure now. RIP Joshua xxx."

Kimberley Southall posted: "This is incredibly heartbreaking, but I’m relieved that you can now lay him to rest and begin to grieve for him. Thinking of you all xx."

Siobhan Banister Gower posted: "My most sincere condolences. May he rest in peace. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss xxx."

Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year on 116 123.

If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.