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UPDATE: Body found near picnic lay-by on A39

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: June 08, 2012

  • The scene at Rooks Bridge on Thursday morning

  • Emergency services at the scene on Thursday morning

  • The scene at Rooks Bridge on Thursday morning

  • A forensic tent erected in the wooded area on Thursday

  • Police cordoned off the lay-by on the A39

  • The scene at Rooks Bridge on Thursday morning

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The death of a man, whose body was found near a lay-by on the A39 on Thursday, is not being treated as suspicious.

The man, aged in his sixties and from Holsworthy, was found dead in a wooded area at the Rooks Bridge picnic area on the A39 near Barnstaple at around 6.20am on Thursday.

Police patrol officers made the discovery after finding an abandoned vehicle, with the keys still inside, parked in the picnic area.

The vehicle is believed to be a silver Ford Puma.

After a search of the nearby woods, officers located the dead man. He was confirmed dead at 6.45am by paramedics.

Formal identification has not yet been completed.

Devon and Cornwall Police, who attended the scene en masse, initially said they were treating the death as unexplained. They have since confirmed the man died as a result of a medical episode.

On Thursday afternoon, the body was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where it was examined by a Home Office pathologist.

Following a post mortem, police confirmed the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated by police and a file has been submitted to HM Coroner.

The picnic area and toilet facilities were cordoned off for several hours while initial investigations were carried out.

More than ten police vehicles remained at the scene until at least mid-morning on Thursday, with a forensic tent erected to keep pouring rain off part of the area.

Forensics officers could be seen heading in and out of the tent throughout the morning while passing traffic slowed to look at the scene.

A Barum Friend Security van was also parked in the lay-by.

A spokesman for the security company said the area is not one the firm normally checks on but was unable to give more details.

Officers confirmed the police cordon had been lifted and the area reopened to the public at around 3pm.

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  • HUDSTER26  |  June 10 2012, 12:12AM

    R-I-P BUDDY U WILL BE MISSED BY EVERYONE WHO KNEW AND WORKED WITH YOU EVEN THOUGH I ONLY NEW YOU FOR A FEW WEEKS WE SHARED A FEW LAUGHS MY DEEPEST SIMPATHY GOES OUT TO YOUR FAMILY AT THIS HARD TIME XX

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