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Tragedy as body is found in search for missing woman

Tragedy as body is found in search for missing woman after bestselling author shared appeal to track her down

  • Mum Vanessa Ford was last seen walking in East London on Saturday 

Police say they have found a body in the search for a mother whose missing persons appeal was shared by a bestselling author.

Mum Vanessa Ford was last seen walking along the street in a dark top and leggings in doorbell footage captured near her East London home on Saturday.

Friend and bestselling author Sophie Heawood, best known for writing memoir The Hungover Games, had used social media to urge the public to look out for Ms Ford after she disappeared from the Richmond Road area of Hackney.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Met Police said it had been alerted to a British Transport Police investigation following a death on the tracks between Dalston Kingsland and Hackney Central on the London Overground.

While formal identification is yet to take place, officers say they have informed Ms Ford’s family of the news. The casualty is understood to be a woman in her 40s.

Vanessa Ford was last seen in East London. Police say a body has been found in the search for her after the British Transport Police were called to a death on the tracks on the Overground

Doorbell footage showed the missing mother in the vicinity of Richmond Road on Saturday 23 September at around 11am 

Author Sophie Heawood had launched an appeal on social media urging anyone with information on Vanessa’s disappearance to contact the police

The statement read: ‘A woman was reported missing to the Met on the evening of Saturday, 23 September and a number of enquiries were undertaken to locate her.

‘We have been made aware of an investigation by the British Transport Police following a death on tracks between Dalston Kingsland and Hackney Central on Saturday morning and are liaising with them.

‘While formal identification awaits, the family of Vanessa Ford have been informed of this development.’

A British Transport Police spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Officers were called to the line close to Dalston Kingsland at 11.49am on 23 September following reports of a casualty on the tracks. 

‘Paramedics also attended – however, sadly a person was pronounced dead at the scene. 

‘The incident is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’

Worried friends and family appealed for information on social media after Vanessa went missing – without her phone, wallet, bag and keys, they said.

She was last seen carrying a pink and white water bottle, and may have been wearing flip flops. Her last confirmed sighting was on St Philip’s Road in Hackney.

Heawood had written: ‘A friend of friends, a mother, has gone missing from London Fields, Hackney. 

‘Missing person Vanessa has been missing since 11am Sat 23rd September. Last seen in vicinity of Richmond Road where she lives, in dark top and leggings. Please contact police with any info at all.’

Tom Gatti, executive editor of culture, books, ideas and print at the New Statesman, had tweeted: ‘Looking for our friend Vanessa from Hackney, who has been missing since Saturday morning.’ 

Heawood’s memoir The Hungover Games: A True Story charts her life as a single mother working as a celebrity interviewer in Hollywood before moving back to London.

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