A body has been found in a three month search for a missing solo hiker, aged 29, near the mountain trail where he was last seen.
British hiker Aidan Roche had gone to Switzerland alone on the trip – but his family and friends soon became aware of his disappearance on June 22.
For weeks they had been pleading for Mr Roche’s safe return, with the Teesside man last spotted alive in the Grindelwald area of Switzerland.
Authorities began scouring the area, with Swiss police and mountain rescue teams attempting to trace the man. But after they had “exhausted every option” the mission was dropped.
Not accepting Mr Roche’s tragic fate, the family had launched a GoFundMe campaign in a bid to secure more funds in the hope authorities may re-start the search, the Mirror reports.
A fellow hiker who had met Mr Roche on the same trail said he had appeared in “good spirits” on his challenge earlier this summer.
But all hopes were dashed when the family received the devastating news his body had been found.
His brother Connor took to Facebook to break the news, he said: “We received the news last week that the police in Switzerland had found Aidan near the trail he was walking. The news has hit us all hard, even with this outcome on our minds over the last few months.
“On behalf of my entire family, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped us through all of this.
“The outpouring of support from so many people has got us through all of the uncertainty and anguish and shows just how loved Aidan was.
“For all the messages of support, the sharing of Aidan’s pictures and posters online, and the donations to aid in finding him, you have our deepest gratitude. All of this helped to bring him home to us. Thank you so much.”
His older brother, Connor, previously described Aidan as “a character” and someone who can “talk to absolutely everyone and can just make friends with anyone”.
Loving tributes have since been paid to the chemical engineer on Facebook, reports Teesside Live. One person said: “I’m so very sorry for your loss.
“My heartfelt condolences to all of Aidan’s Family and Friends, at this most heartbreaking of times.” Another added: “Sending love and deepest sympathy to you and all your family.”