TRagic end to hunt for missing OAP

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THE worst fears of missing pensioner Joe Robinson’s friends and family were realised last week when his body was found following a six-week search.

Police confirmed to Joe’s family that they were “90 per cent certain” the body was Joe’s after a passer-by made the grim discovery in a section of Sankey Brook near Broad Oak Road, Parr, just before noon last Wednesday (June 1).

Officers confirmed that it was Joe’s body a couple of hours later.

Joe’s twin brother John, 67, told the Reporter: “Even though Joe had been missing for more than six weeks it was still a shock when the police told us they had found his body. You just never believe that something like that is going to happen.

“So far they’ve not been able to find what caused Joe’s death and, obviously, they think he has been in the water for quite a long time. We’ve got to wait for the Coroner to release the body now before we can make any arrangements.”

Joe, 66, was reported missing from his Peasley Cross home on the night of Sunday, April 17, after becoming increasingly upset about brother John’s extended hospital stay.

He was last seen that night pacing up and down near the junction of Sutton Road and Gaskell Street.

Police subsequently mobilised a search and rescue helicopter, force diving teams and sifted through nearby undergrowth in a bid to locate him - but all to no avail.

John, who lived with Joe in Manor Street for the last 50 years, described his twin as a “happy go lucky fella” who was extremely well known.

Joe, a retired United Glass stalwart, was a keen snooker, darts and dominoes player and a regular visitor to St Joseph’s Social Club, Holy Cross Club and the local Conservative Club.

Born and bred in St Helens, Joe, who is also survived by three sisters, always enjoyed watching Manchester United’s televised fixtures.

Among the tributes left at the scene was one from Kathryn which described Joe as “like a second dad”.

Joe’s younger brother Terry, 64, added: “We were all living in hope but, sadly, that doesn’t always work out. We’re all devastated.

“As a family we’d like to thank all our family, friends and neighbours for their sympathy and support. Everyone has rallied around us.”