The body of former British rugby league player Bryn Hargreaves, who went missing more than a year ago, was found yards from his home, it has been revealed.

Mr Hargreaves, who was 36 at the time, was reported missing on 16 January 2022, having failed to arrive for work in West Virginia in the US.

Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office said his disappearance sparked a “large scale” search of the Cheat Lake area led by police and tracker dogs “over a several month period”, which had no success.

Bryn Hargreaves during his time playing for St Helens

But on February 26, Mr. Hargreaves’ body was found in the Cheat Lake area of Monongalia County, West Virginia, in a wooded area between South Peirpont Road and The Hannalei Development. The last place anyone saw him was at the Whisper Creek Apartment Complex, which is just a few yards away. It is in Monongalia County and is off of South Pierpont Road.

Maria Andrews, the player’s mother, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, “Heartbroken xx*x” that her son had died. I closed my eyes for a second, and then there was a man where my boy used to be. I won’t be able to hold you in my arms right now, but you will always be in my heart. There are many things about the man you have become that make me proud, but telling other people that you are My Son makes me the happiest. “I love you now and always.”

On their Facebook page, the Sheriff’s Office said they are waiting for the autopsy report to be finished before they can say what caused the de*ath and how it happened.

Gareth Hargreaves, Mr. Hargreaves’ older brother, posted on Facebook that the former player had died 14 months after he was last seen.

The post started with “RIP Bryn Hargreaves.” “It makes me very sad to say that after 14 months, we have finally found Bryn.” Still don’t know what happened on March 22, nor do we know what caused the de*ath. Thanks to everyone who helped with the search. Would you please give us a little space? We’ll let you know when we have more information.

Not long ago, Ms. Andrews also wrote about her feelings, saying that the news had “heartbroken” her. She wrote, “Not something I wanted to share.” “I’m so sad about my beautiful son Bryn. I don’t know how to describe the pain xx.”

The rugby player was last seen on January 16, 2018, and when police got to his flat in Morgantown, West Virginia, they found the door unlocked and the shower running. The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office looked for him with sniffer dogs in the Cheat Lake area, but they couldn’t find him.

Over the past year, many attempts were made to find Mr. Hargreaves but were unsuccessful. His family set up a GoFundMe page to try to get money to hire a private investigator to help them find him.

He was born in Wigan and played in the Super League for the Warriors, which was his childhood dream. He also played for St Helens and won the Challenge Cup there in 2008. Ten years ago, soon after his last team, the Bradford Bulls, went bankrupt, he moved to the United States to work in the oil and gas industry.

The rugby player as a young boy

He used to live in Pittsburgh with Amy, his American wife, whom he met in Mexico. They lived apart for four years before getting a divorce.

At the time that Hargreaves went missing, his family thought that he might have been taken away.

“Bryn had mental health problems and was in a lot of pain in his back from a car accident in December 2021,” Gareth said in June of last year as they searched desperately for him. “He hadn’t been with his family for Christmas either.” The two most likely possibilities were that he chose to hurt himself or that he left for a while and then came back.

“But after five months, those two options seem less likely because you would think a body would show up.” The police checked his bank account and found that no money had been taken out. His wallet, ID and passport are still in his apartment, so he couldn’t get to his money or use his ID to travel.

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