Body found in woods near set of Downton Abbey is missing dad-of-two Charlie Knight who disappeared two years ago | The Sun

A BODY found in the woods near the Downton Abbey castle is a missing dad-of-two, police say.

Charles 'Charlie' Knight, 30, vanished without a trace in February 2021, leaving his family in limbo for years.

But human remains found in a "remote stretch of woodland" in Burghclere, Hampshire, on August 9 have today been confirmed to be the dad.

The village is less than two miles from Highclere Castle, the stately home where Downton Abbey was set.

Hampshire Police have ruled out foul play, saying the death is "not suspicious", and a file is being prepared for a coroner's inquest.

The force said today: "The remains have been identified as belonging to Charles (Charlie) Knight following formal identification.

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"Following the discovery of his body, his next of kin were informed and are now being supported by specially trained officers."

His devastated family today released a new photo of the dad who was "truly loved".

They said in a statement: "We as a family are totally heartbroken by what has happened, but we have each other for support.

"And we'd really like to thank our friends and the community who rallied around us and provided their heartfelt support when Charlie went missing in February 2021.

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"Charlie was truly loved and will be deeply missed by so many of his family and friends who all loved him very much."


At 8.30am on February 17, 2021, Charlie was at his mother Belinda Hooper's home in Burghclere when he told her he was popping out.

As he stood at the back doorstep of her home, she asked how long he would be gone, he responded "I won't be that long."

An hour later, when he had not returned, his worried mum rang his brother to say Charlie had not come back, before calling the police to report him missing.

He did not have his phone on him.

Hampshire Constabulary categorised the case as "high risk" because Charlie had depression.

Police scaled back their extensive search for Charlie in March 2021, after combing the area for almost three weeks.

In April this year, Charlie's case featured on Channel 5 programme Vanished, where the public were urged to come forward with any information.

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His mum Belinda told the programme: "It's very hard to ascertain how someone can be here one minute and gone the next.

"[Charlie's] a very compassionate person. He is very protective over me."

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