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Body of rugby league star Bryn Hargreaves is found more than a year after he went missing in the US

The body of rugby league star Bryn Hargreaves has been found more than a year after he vanished in the US.

The ex-St Helens player, 36, was reported missing after he did not turn up for work last January, sparking a major police hunt in West Virginia.  

His brother Gareth wrote on Facebook yesterday: ‘RIP Bryn Hargreaves. With incredible sadness I can confirm after 14 months we have finally found Bryn. 

We still do not know the cause of death or what actually happened on 3/1/22. Thanks to all those that have helped in the search.’

Bryn Hargreaves played in the Super League for Wigan, St Helens and Bradford, which he is seen representing here

Bryn was reported missing in January last year when he failed to turn up for work

Bryn was reported missing in January last year when he failed to turn up for work

Gareth Hargreaves announced the passing of his brother Bryn on Facebook yesterday

Gareth Hargreaves announced the passing of his brother Bryn on Facebook yesterday 

Police first went to Bryn’s flat complex, outside the city of Morgantown, on January 3 last year.

And when they arrived, they found his door unlocked and his shower still running, and all of his belongings, including his phone and Apple laptop.

They then began a manhunt, which didn’t turn up any definitive leads. Even a private investigator hired by his family couldn’t uncover any ‘concrete’ details.

His mother Maria Andrews also wrote on social media: ‘Not something I wanted to be sharing. I’m in bits #heartbroken. My beautiful son Bryn. I can’t think of any words to describe the pain xx.’

Bryn, from Wigan, made 175 appearances in the sport’s top flight, Super League, for Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Bradford Bulls. He retired from rugby aged just 26 after becoming disillusioned with the game and then moved to the US.

Bryn worked in the oil and gas industry and lived in Pittsburgh with his American wife whom he met on holiday in Mexico. When the couple split, he moved to West Virginia, but Gareth said Bryn was left feeling isolated during the Covid lockdown and suggested he might move back to the UK.

Bryn, originally from Wigan, made 175 appearances in the sport's top flight, Super League, for Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Bradford Bulls. Here he plays for the latter in 2011

Bryn, originally from Wigan, made 175 appearances in the sport’s top flight, Super League, for Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Bradford Bulls. Here he plays for the latter in 2011

Gareth previously said the private investigator had asked police if he could search a lake for Bryn’s body and confirmed the 36-year-old had some mental health issues.

But he had claimed police wouldn’t grant permission for the search, and though the family had the money for a private inquiry, this stopped them from moving forward. 

Gareth previously said: ‘The private investigator said he couldn’t find any concrete evidence for anything.

‘But he believed Bryn was in a poor mental state, and he had more evidence to back that up.

‘He believed he was more likely to have committed suicide, which we knew was a strong possibility. He wanted to search the lake again because he believed the initial search had some vulnerabilities. But the police wouldn’t grant that.’

Gareth said he had personally ‘struggled’ with not getting answers about his brother’s whereabouts after he had suddenly disappeared. And he had claimed there had been lines of inquiry that police should have followed up on shortly after he went missing.

He said: ‘His phone has never been accessed, they haven’t been able to. They never really checked the CCTV if I’m honest, which was a bit frustrating.’

After news of Bryn’s death was shared on social media, other friends and family paid tribute to the ‘kind’ and ‘gentle’ sportsman.

One relative wrote: ‘Heartbroken. My nephew was a kind, reserved and gentle giant and he gave you his right arm.’

A friend added: ‘RIP Bryn Hargreaves mi old mate.. tragic all this carry on lately with close friends and mates from growing up and playing rugby with going.. great memory’s as kids.. pisses me right off.. rip mate.’

Another said: ‘To the entire family, I am so sorry for the loss of Bryn. Time has not been easy over the past 14 months. Bryn made an impact on everyone he came in contact with and he was loved by so many people’.

No cause of death has yet been determined. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk