Body in river was missing George, 77

A BODY found in the River Calder in Mirfield on Good Friday has been identified as a missing pensioner.

George Bass, 77, of Harrogate, disappeared from home on March 2 but was spotted in Leeds and York over the next several days.

His family put out an emotional appeal for his return but there were no further sightings.

The body of Mr Bass was spotted in the water by a passerby walking on the river bank in Mirfield, near the John Cotton’s factory on Huddersfield Road at about 3pm.

An inquest was opened at Bradford Coroners’ Court on Wednesday and adjourned to a date to be fixed.

His is one of four bodies pulled from the Calder or the Calder and Hebble canal in recent weeks.

Det Insp Bill Burns said: “Our thoughts are with George’s family and we are doing everything we can to support them at this sad time.

“We would also like to thank the members of the public and the media who have supported the appeal.”

• National media dubbed the alleged serial killer responsible for deaths on our waterways as the “Yorkshire Dipper”.

In what was sadly no April Fool prank, last Friday they reported on a frenzy of online rumours.

Four deaths here and one in Huddersfield led to claims spread on Facebook of a “serial killer” deliberately pushing people into the water.

Det Insp George Bardell, of Kirklees CID, said: “We are aware of speculation on social media.

“Inquiries have been made by the police into all of these deaths; however no links have been found and they appear to all be tragic isolated incidents.”

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