ONE of the sad duties of a newspaper is to report tragedies.

Some of us have done so hundreds of times, but it is never an easy task.

Today it has been harder than ever.

Ben Caplan was our friend and colleague. He had been a well-loved member of our staff for more than a decade.

When he went missing shortly before Christmas many, many people helped in the search for him.

Everything that could have been done to find Ben was done.

Eventually, it became obvious to everyone that Ben had entered the River Usk in Caerleon on the night he went missing last month and there would be no happy ending to this story.

Yesterday evening a body was found and today came confirmation that it was Ben.

It would be impossible to thank individually every person who helped in the search for Ben. But we thank you all.

We have lost a dear friend and colleague and it hurts like hell.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben's widow Danielle, their children, and all of his family and friends.

Sleep tight, mate. We all miss you.