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Missing rugby player found dead

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Missing since Saturday: Mark Dombroski

Missing rugby player Mark Dombroski has been found dead, police said this afternoon.

Acting Assistant Commissioner James Howard said this evening: “Foul play is not ruled out.”

Mr Howard said the body was found at Fort Prospect, near the Arboretum in Devonshire.

He was speaking after a police spokesman said just after 4.30pm: “The search unfortunately has come to an end.”

The news came hours after the mother of Mr Dombroski made a heartfelt plea for the safe return of her son.

Lisa Dombroski told a press conference held earlier: “We deeply love our son, we cherish our son.

“We love him dearly. We want him back.”

The visiting student, 19, from Pennsylvania, was seen at the Dog House on Front Street just after midnight on Sunday. He was captured on CCTV on East Broadway just after 1am and on Middle Road in Devonshire ten minutes later.

The Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment announced this afternoon they would be conducting a search in the Devonshire area for Mr Dombroski.

At 4pm, police spokesman Dwayne Caines said two groups were conducting searches in the area.

Ms Dombroski thanked the community for their “shoulder to shoulder” support.

She added: “They’re helping us, they are with us.”

Ms Dombroski said that Monday was the feast day of St Joseph.

She explained: “My son is a freshman as St Joseph University. It would be a wonderful thing if on St Joseph’s feast day God please would reunite us with our wonderful son.”

Ms Dombroski was joined at the press conference by Mr Dombroski’s father John, and brothers John and Kevin.

Police said at 1.15am that Mr Dombroski was captured on CCTV on Middle Road, near Shelton Road, Devonshire, walking east — the opposite direction from where he was staying at Warwick Camp.

Mr Howard said that a “coordinated search” was being done.

Mr Howard said the areas of Crow Lane and East Broadway had “already been checked”. A search of Hamilton Harbour had also been conducted using the police marine unit.

He said police were conducting an “extensive review” of the island’s CCTV network.

Mr Howard said police were notified of Mark’s disappearance by his family at 9.39am on Sunday.

Local rugby clubs have been hunting on the Railway Trail and other areas for Mr Dombroski.

He thanked members of the public for their efforts and interest.

Mr Howard added: “We urge that all search activity be coordinated through the police, to capture all information accurately and to avoid duplication of efforts.”

“There is an investigative process being followed, and we request the co-operation of the public in this regard.”

The rugby player had been due to leave the island with his parents yesterday.

Pictures appearing to show Mr Dombroski in Bermuda on Saturday night have been circulated on social media among local rugby players.

Mr Dombroski came to the island on a rugby tour with St Joseph’s University, to play in the Ariel Re Bermuda International Rugby Sevens at the North Field over the weekend. It is understood players socialised in Hamilton on Saturday night.

Today, the Bermuda Rugby Football Union revealed all local rugby clubs and the local community launched an effort to search along the Railway Trail and other areas across the island for Mr Dombroski.

A BRFU spokesman said: “This community effort will continue and in order to aid this effort the BRFU has offered a reward of $1,000 for information regarding the whereabouts of missing Mr Dombroski.”

St Joseph’s University said in a statement: “St Joseph’s University is in touch with Mark’s family and Bermuda authorities and continues to pray for his safe return.”

Mr Dombroski was white, 6ft with a small build, and had short blond hair. He was last seen wearing khaki pants, a green T-shirt and black shoes.

Anyone with photos, videos or any other information should contact police on 717-2086 or 717-0864 Crimestoppers anonymously on 800-8477.

Left to right: Mark Dombroski's father John, mother Lisa and brother John appeal for the help finding the missing rugby player at a press conference today (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
This image, appearing to show Mark Dombroski on the left, has been circulated by local rugby players as they hunt for the missing teenager (Photograph supplied)
This image, appearing to show Mark Dombroski with his back to the camera, has been circulated by local rugby players as they hunt for the missing teenager (Photograph supplied)
Acting Assistant Commissioner James Howard speaks at a press conference today (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)