Community leaders have paid tributes to a "happy" and "highly regarded" man after a body was discovered in the search for an 86-year-old man.

Hugh Edgecombe was reported missing from Long Melford on Wednesday, May 21. 

Suffolk police confirmed onMonday that a search had been called off after the discovery of a body

John Nunn, a resident of Long Melford, and a Babergh District councillor said his thoughts are with Mr Edgecombe's family during this extremely difficult time. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Hugh Edgecombe was last seen in Long MelfordHugh Edgecombe was last seen in Long Melford (Image: Suffolk police)

He said: "It is very sad news and I did know the gentleman and he was always a very pleasant and happy guy from my experiences seeing him around the village.

Mr Nunn said it was also very pleasing to see the people of Long Melford come together and help join the search to find Mr Edgecombe. 

Richard Kemp, Suffolk County councillor for Long Melford, said: "It is a very sad and tragic event.

"I knew Hugh personally, his son actually played cricket as a result of me speaking to him many years ago. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Richard KempRichard Kemp (Image: Newsquest)

"We're all very very sorry because he was so highly regarded and well-liked in the village. 

"It is one of those unpleasant things that occur sometimes, we are all very very sorry for his family and send our sincere condolences to them."

Police discovered a body in the water between Glemsford and Sudbury on Sunday morning. 

No formal identification has yet been made but the search for Mr Edgecombe has been called off and the coroner has been informed.

Mr Edgecombe’s family said they would like to thank the community for their support, especially members of the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue.

An appeal was launched on Wednesday evening by Suffolk police to find Mr Edgecombe. 

On Thursday officers and firefighters focused their searches around the river bank of the River Stour in Liston Lane.