A human skull found on a building site has been confirmed by police as belonging to marine veteran John Dick, who disappeared 10 months ago.

John Ross Dick, who grew up in Letchworth, was last seen leaving a train at Dovercourt railway station in Essex on November 30.

Since then, extensive appeals and searches by police and his family have proved fruitless.

John's family has now been told the devastating news that he has died.

He leaves behind his wife, Lorna, and two young children.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We launched an investigation on July 19, after we received reports of a human skull being found on a building site near to Harwich Port.

"DNA testing has now been carried out on the skull and we can confirm it is the remains of 38-year-old John Dick.

"Mr Dick had been missing from the Bury St Edmunds area. He was last seen in Harwich on November 30, with no additional confirmed sightings.

"On September 10, further bones were discovered along the coastline, in Bathside Bay, which led to additional searches in the following days.

"Those searches led to the discovery of more remains in nearby marshland. We are conducting tests to ensure the additional discoveries are the remains of Mr Dick.

"We are not linking the discovery to any other investigation at this time and a file is now being prepared for the coroner.

"We have kept Mr Dick’s family updated throughout our investigation."

In a statement, John’s family said: “We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our John.

“He was a wonderful man who was funny, kind, generous and trusting and, from the stories that have been shared, it is clear that this has been seen far and wide by so many people.

“Everyone who knew him is better for knowing him and John will be forever missed.

“He was so very loved as a daddy, husband, son and brother and our hearts are shattered at our loss.”

The cause of John's death has not been confirmed.

A fundraising appeal, set up by a friend to help pay for John's funeral has raised more than £10,000 in 24 hours.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/ajkq4-help-johns-family-lay-him-to-rest