Police confirm if body found on Bognor beach is missing Worthing woman

Marion Ray, inset, and the search near Worthing Pier
Marion Ray, inset, and the search near Worthing Pier

Police have confirmed whether the body found on a beach in Bognor Regis earlier this week is that of a Worthing woman whose disappearance sparked a sea search.

On Sunday night, a large-scale search and rescue operation took place in the sea around Worthing Pier after reports of a missing woman.

Marion Ray, known as Sandra, was last sighted at 5.45pm in Worthing that day.

Video from the scene showed lifeboats being battered by strong winds and high waves caused by the arrival of Storm Freya.

At just before 5am on Thursday, a woman’s body was recovered from the sea off the coast of Bognor Regis, police said at the time.

Speculation mounted on social media that the two incidents could be linked - and police have now responded with more information.

A spokesman said they were not linked. They said: "The woman’s body recovered from the sea off Bognor Regis shortly before 5am on Thursday ( 7 March) is believed to be that of a 40-year-old local woman.

"The circumstances are being treated as unexplained but not suspicious at this stage.

"Enquiries are currently being made to trace and inform her next of kin who do not live locally."

They confirmed that the body is not that of Marion Ray from Worthing.

This comes after human remains found in woods near Arundel were confirmed to be those of missing Barnham woman Helen Slaughter.