The search for missing Casino soldier, Sapper David Wood, ended on Saturday with the discovery of a body in bushland close to where emergency services conducted extensive searches last week.
About 1.30pm police were called to Durack Circuit, Casino, where they found the body.
Police said the death was not considered suspicious and while a formal identification was yet to be finalised they believed it to be that of Spr Wood, 22, who was last seen by family members on May 22. Authorities held grave fears for his safety sparking widespread calls for public assistance.
Police are preparing a report for the coroner and have thanked the public for their efforts.
Spr Wood’s disappearance sparked extensive searches culminating with a large operation last Thursday involving more than 40 personnel, including members of Mr Wood’s army unit.
In conjunction with firefighters, national park rangers and SES volunteers, police searched thick scrub near Durack Circuit with assistance from the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter without success.
Mr Wood’s grandfather, former Richmond Valley councillor Roger Wood, told APN Media that Spr Wood, who had served in two tours of duty in Afghanistan, was suffering post traumatic stress syndrome since returning from his last tour.
‘I want people to know that David is the 40th Aussie Digger to have died from the Afghanistan conflict,’ Mr Wood said.
‘Bad mental health is as bad as physical wounds as especially in this case it’s had the same end result.’