A skeleton found at the bottom of a well in Crete is that of a British student who went missing on holiday eleven years ago, police have confirmed.
Steven Cook, originally from Sandbach, Cheshire, disappeared on a night out with friends in the Greek party resort of Malia in September 2005.
The 20-year-old was last seen in a tavern asking for directions to where he was staying. It was his first trip abroad.
Cheshire Police said they have received confirmation from authorities in Greece that his remains had been found.
They said the priority was to ensure the body was brought back to the UK quickly.
A spokesperson said the investigation into Steven’s death was being handled by the Greek authorities.
It is not yet clear whether it is a murder inquiry, MailOnline reported.
Mystery surrounds the disappearance of Cook, who was the subject of a public appeal for information as recently as last year.
The skeleton was reportedly found alongside a camera and was sent for detailed forensic examination upon being found last week.
Cook’s family posted on their Facebook profile to confirm their “much loved” son would be coming home, the BBC reported.
“Much loved and missed son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend will be finally coming home to be with us once again,” they wrote.
“Whilst we always carried hope in our hearts that Steve would come back much sooner and once again be able to share in our lives... sadly we will be bringing him home to say our farewells.”
Detective Inspector Gary McIntyre said: “The remains were removed from the site and taken to a nearby hospital for further forensic examination.
“Tests have been carried out and we have now received confirmation from the Greek authorities that the remains belong to Steven Cook, who went missing on 1st September 2005 during a holiday to the island.
“Steven’s family have been kept fully updated on the developments and are currently being supported by Cheshire officers. They have been provided with support since Steven first went missing and this will continue over the coming weeks.
“This is understandably an extremely upsetting and distressing time for the Cook family.
“Steven’s relatives are very appreciative of all the support the media and the public have given them over the years in their quest to find him but they have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time as they are trying to come to terms with the news.”