Body found in search for Gboyega Odubanjo who went missing at music festival

Gboyega Odubanjo
Gboyega Odubanjo

Police attempting to trace a poet who went missing at a music festival have found a body during a nearby search operation.

Gboyega Odubanjo, a Bromley native, was last seen at the Shambala music festival in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, at around 4am on Saturday, having been invited to read poetry at the event the following day.

The 27-year-old’s family, friends and supporters from across the country launched a social media campaign and organised search parties in the area.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Northamptonshire Police said: “A body has sadly been found during the search for a 27-year-old man reported missing in Kelmarsh.

“Police officers made the discovery shortly before 9am on Thursday August 31 in the course of a specialised search of the area.

“The man had been reported missing on Sunday August 27, having last been seen at Shambala festival early the previous morning.

“While formal identification has yet to take place, the man’s family has been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.”

The search efforts, led by detectives, involved the use of search dogs, trained police search advisers, neighbourhood and response officers, a police dive team, and volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue.

There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mr Odubanjo was studying for a PhD in creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire.

He attended the festival with friends and became separated from them in the early hours of Saturday.

Detective Chief Inspector Johnny Campbell said: “Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this very difficult time, and we would ask the media and members of the public to not contact them and respect their privacy.

“We would like to thank all those involved in the search efforts, including the volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue and the specialist search-trained officers from other forces who supported our efforts.

“We would also like to thank all those who have supported our investigation by speaking to officers or getting in touch with information.

“Officers from Northamptonshire Police will now prepare a file for the coroner.”

His work has appeared in the Guardian, the Poetry Review and the New Statesman.