Shropshire Star

Evidence suggests missing teenage swimmer never left quarry – police

Police divers and sonar equipment have been used during the five-week search for Toby Burwell at Rugby’s Newbold Quarry.

Toby Burwell

Evidence gathered during a month-long search for a missing 17-year-old strongly suggests he got into difficulty while swimming in a quarry and never left the water, police have said.

In a statement provided with the agreement of Toby Burwell’s parents, Warwickshire Police said despite extensive, expert-led searches, officers found no evidence the teenager “ever left the water, and there has been no positive sighting since”.

Detective Inspector Gareth Unett, who has led the investigation since Toby vanished in February, said: “People across the borough and beyond have been saddened and worried since Toby disappeared from his home in Rugby, where he lives with his parents, Tim and Alan.

“Though Toby remains missing, I would now, with Tim and Alan’s agreement, like to provide a more detailed update on the police investigation.

“At present, the evidence we have gathered strongly supports the conclusion that Toby went to Newbold Quarry alone for a swim and that, tragically, he got into difficulty and remains in the water. Toby is known to have previously gone swimming there at night.

“As part of our investigation we have maintained an open mind, speaking with Toby’s friends, reviewing local CCTV and responding to potential sightings, considering all alternative explanations.”

Specialist search officers, police divers, sonar and underwater drones have been used during the search operation, which has been hampered by poor visibility and underwater hazards.

“We are still at the quarry each day, and plan to be for the foreseeable future, where we will continue to deploy a variety of assets in our efforts to locate Toby,” Mr Unett said.

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