Tyne & Wear

Ian Bell river search: 'No likelihood' he will be found alive

Ian Bell, who went missing in the River Wear
Image caption Ian Bell has been missing for a week

There is "no likelihood" that a boy who fell into the River Wear in County Durham will be found alive, police fear.

Ian Bell, eight, was playing with friends when he went missing near the Brown Trout pub near Crook last Friday.

One week on, there are hopes specialist police dogs can be drafted in to help with the search.

Ch Insp Graham Milne said: "All we want now is to bring him home to his family."

'Hope in our hearts'

Police are talking to a professor who is an expert in rivers and flowing water, with the aim of targeting search efforts in specific directions.

Mr Milne said: "We are still doing everything we can to find Ian but, sadly, there doesn't seem any likelihood that we'll find him alive."

On Thursday, Ian's mother Claire said: "We still have hope in our hearts that Ian will be found soon and just want to find him and bring him home."

A 13-mile (21km) stretch of the River Wear has been searched with help from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, Teesdale and Weardale Search and Rescue, the county council's Civil Contingency Unit and community volunteers.

A specialist underwater camera team from Derbyshire also assisted in the search.

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