THE FAMILY of Richard Morris has paid tribute to the “loving and loyal husband and father”, after a body found in Alice Holt Forest was confirmed to be that of the missing diplomat.

The 52-year-old’s body was found on August 31 in the forest.

Paying tribute to him, Richard’s family said: “From childhood European holidays via a US university scholarship to ambassador to Nepal, Richard loved to travel.

“Described as funny, kind and smart by his diplomatic colleagues, he worked for the FCO with professionalism and integrity for nearly 30 years.

“His empathy and kindness to those around him earned him respect wherever he went, evidenced by the messages of love, friendship and support we have received from all over the world.

“Richard was always a runner, cheerfully describing himself as “more of an enthusiastic weekend trail runner than podium finisher”. Nevertheless he had completed five marathons on four continents, most recently in Nepal, where he raised money for Changing Faces – the UK charity of which he was a trustee.

“But above all else, Richard was a family man. A loving and loyal husband, father, son and brother. He showed us the world but he was our world and we are devastated by his loss.”

Geoff Brown, Alice Holt’s parkrun director added: “Richard ran regularly at Alice Holt parkrun until he took up his position in Nepal in 2015.

“He was an excellent runner and was frequently among the top ten finishers. He also helped our event out with some volunteering stints.

“We posted the sad news on our Facebook page and among the comments were a number of runners who, like me, remembered Richard as a strong and determined runner who was also quiet and kind. We also remember he gave his time to encourage other parkrun participants.

“Everyone at Alice Holt parkrun passes on their deepest sympathies to his family.”