A BODY has been found in the search for a much-loved teenager who went missing on Monday.

Northumbria Police had been searching for 19-year-old Kieran Ritchie, who was last seen in Walker in Newcastle. 

They announced yesterday that a body, believed to be his, had been recovered in the area.

Mr Ritchie was a former pupil at Larkmead School in Abingdon, where he lived for some time. 

Although he has since moved to the north of England, he still has friends and family in the town.

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A memorial is being arranged by his friends at Albert Park in Abingdon tomorrow, and anyone who knew him and would like to pay their respects is welcome to come along.

They hope to meet at 7pm to release balloons or lanterns in his memory, ideally red as that is the colour of his favourite football team, Liverpool. 

A Facebook page for the memorial states: "We thought it would be nice to get everyone together to give Kieran a proper send off, one he deserves.

"Kieran touched many of our hearts, he was an amazing kid, not a bad bone in his body." 

Archie Smith, one of Mr Ritchie's best friends, told the Oxford Mail that his friend was a 'son, brother, friend and a best mate.'

He added: "He had a beautiful, fun and lively soul that everyone loved.

"Kieran meant the world to me and he will never be forgotten. 

"Rest easy friend, til we meet again, love you."

In the space of 24 hours, a Facebook page set up in Kieran's memory - In loving memory of Kieran Ritchie - has gained more than 1,400 likes from people who want to pay tribute to him.

Commenting on the page, one friend wrote: "You were loved by so many people and will be missed terribly by all.

"I've mentioned to my kids that you have gone up to the sky and that you will still fun fight with them and chase them around the garden."

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Another said: "He was such an amazing friend to me at school, always there and could always count on him to make me smile even when I didn’t want to.

"Kieran was so thoughtful, a caring just all-round lovely person. We have a lot of memories together and I will treasure them always."

A statement issued by Northumbria Police said: "Officers are supporting his friends and family at what is an incredibly difficult time.

"There is believed to be no third party involvement.

"Police want to thank everyone who have helped with the search for missing Kieran and have asked that they respect the family's privacy at this difficult time."