River body identified as missing County Durham woman

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Leanne Chambers
Image caption,
Leanne Chambers was reported missing in February

A body found in the River Wear five weeks ago has been confirmed as that of a County Durham woman who was reported missing in February.

A major search operation was mounted for Leanne Chambers, 30, when she failed to return home after a night out in Chester-le-Street.

A body was found on 1 July near Sunderland, which DNA tests have now shown to be that of Ms Chambers.

Ms Chambers, of The Anchorage, Chester-le-Street, vanished on 23 February.

Her coat and mobile phone were later found on a bench near Chester-le-Street's Riverside Park.

'Lived with agony'

A Northumbria Police spokesman said a report was being compiled on behalf of the Sunderland coroner and an inquest would be held later.

There are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

Ms Chambers' mother Val said: "Knowing that Leanne has now been found we can put her to rest.

"Ever since she went missing we have lived with the agony of wondering what had happened to her, reacting to every knock on the door, every phone call or every car which pulled up outside.

"We will always remember her as the life and soul of any party, whose smile lit up the room when she walked in.

"Wherever she worked Leanne had a group of friends, she loved socialising and was such a bubbly person."

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