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Remains which were found by a French trawler nearly two years ago have finally been identified as those of missing man Piers Hopson.
Piers, 35, went missing from his home in Southwater Road, St Leonards, on 25 January 2010 after stating he was going for a walk but he did not return home. An intensive search by police, his family and volunteer search teams, was carried out for Piers, who suffered from a form of autism and struggled to communicate.
His parents Roger and Dawn Hopson have paid tribute to Piers. Dawn said: "Piers was a very focused man but he left an impression on everyone he met.
"He loved music and walking and was fascinated by the meaning of words. Once when he was at school and he wanted the starring role in Richard III he learnt the entire play off by heart.
"When something caught his attention, his enthusiasm for it knew no bounds. We shall miss the way he would bound into the room talking non stop about his latest interest, a sheaf of paper in one hand and a pencil in the other; how he would commandeer the newspaper over breakfast not realising that someone else might be reading it. Everything he did, he did with good humour.
"We want to thank everyone who helped us in our search for Piers, the media, the public, the volunteer search teams and especially Sussex Police who have been marvellous. They followed up each possible sighting of Piers."
Detective Inspector Rob Morland, who led the investigation, said: "My sympathies go to Roger and Dawn and the family. This has been a long investigation and we were only aware on Monday this week that Pier's remains had been discovered and identified.
"It is a sad conclusion but I hope his family can now have closure."