Missing Pierre Barnes grew up in Rutland
A boy who is missing, presumed dead, on a French holiday island grew up in Rutland, it emerged yesterday.
Pierre Barnes, 12, who has not been seen since Saturday, was a pupil at Ketton Primary School and lived in nearby Tixover until his family moved to Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Last night, it was reported that French police searching for the missing youngster had found a body.
Pierre joined Ketton Primary's reception class and was there for more than two years.
Mandy Rogers, his former headteacher at the school, said: "We remember Pierre as a friendly, charming little boy who always had a happy smile for everyone.
"He had a very engaging and endearing personality.
"We are devastated for the Barnes family, who we knew and worked closely with for many years."
Pierre vanished after going for a bike ride on the island of Porquerolles, near Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast.
He had arrived on the island that day with his family.
A huge storm hit the area while he was out riding alone, and a search team later found his bicycle with a derailed chain and one of his shoes on a coastal path.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, his father, Stephen Barnes, 57, said he was confident the body would prove to be that of his missing son.
He told the paper: "I have been informed by the police that they have found a body on the island.
"I will go and identify it within the next two hours but I have no doubt it is Pierre."
Mr Barnes and his French wife, Florence, 43, were with Pierre and their other children – Zoe, 17, Desmond, 15, and Clemence, 13.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in touch with the French authorities and we are providing consular assistance."