POLICE divers have recovered a body from docks during a search for a missing Chester postman.
James Bennion, 20, who works from the Royal Mail office in Jupiter Drive, Chester, went missing after a night out with friends in Liverpool last Saturday night.
Merseyside Police divers spent yesterday searching the waters of the Albert Dock for any sign of James, whose parents are originally from Blacon, and a body was taken away by ambulance. No formal identification has yet been made.
Mr Bennion, who lives in Wavertree, Merseyside, grew up in Ellesmere Port and attended Whitby High School, and is a supporter of Crewe Alexandra Football Club.
His cousin Steve Price told the Leader how his disappearance was totally out of character and made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.
“The past few days have been the hardest of both mine and the family’s lives,” said Mr Price.
“James’ parents and his sister Aimee have been beside themselves with worry. It gets harder and harder as every day passes where we don’t hear any news. We’re all just praying that he is somewhere safe.”
Mr Bennion was last seen by friends at 3am on Sunday,December 8, after he had been in the Baa Bar, in Liverpool’s Concert Square.
He was later spotted on CCTV at about 4.20am near Paradise Street Bus Station.
Police are now trying to trace a woman who claims she spoke to Mr Bennion an hour and a half later near the Lemon and Lime takeaway on Dale Street, near the Garlands nightclub where he had been due to meet a friend.
A huge social media campaign has followed Mr Bennion’s disappearance, with friends, family and volunteers taking to Liverpool’s streets on Wednesday to hand out fliers to the public in an appeal for information.
“I don’t think James realises just how popular he is,” said Mr Price, 25, from Ellesmere Port.
“We just can’t thank people enough for coming out to help, it has been really heartwarming for us as a family and has given some strength to his parents and sister.
“It has been a tremendously difficult time but we are managing to get through it by being there for each other as a family. With every passing hour it becomes more difficult but we are trying to stay positive. We really want to trace the woman who says she spoke to James as it could really help the search for him.
“He is great lad, really liked by everyone. I think that is evident by the amount of friends who have come out to help. We just want him home safe.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 7775337 or on 101.