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Body of missing Durham student Sope Peters is formally identified
A BODY recovered from the River Wear has been formally identified as that of missing student Sope Peters.
An inquest will be opened later this week into the death of the 20-year-old Durham University student, whose body was found more than five weeks after he went missing during a night out with friends.
Staff and fellow students at the university said they were "deeply saddened" on hearing the news.
Sopefoluwa Peters, known to family and friends as Sope, was last seen alive shortly after midnight on October 29 outside Klute nightclub, near Elvet Bridge in the city centre.
The popular economics student, who lived in Highgate in the city centre and was in his second year at Hatfield College, told friends he would meet them in nearby Jimmy Allen’s bar, but he never arrived.
Members of his Nigerian-born family flew in from their home in North Virginia in the United States assist police search teams as they scoured the river, including his mother Tolu Peters who said she continued to believe her son would be found alive.
However, his body was found on the afternoon of December 8 in the river near Durham Cathedral, between Prebends Bridge and Framwelgate Bridge.
A post mortem examination has now been carried out, including forensic tests to complete the formal identification process. Police do not believe anyone else was involved in Mr Peters’ disappearance.
A spokesman for Durham Police said: "We have confirmed this morning that the body recovered from the River Wear was that of Sope Peters.
"An inquest into his death will open on Thursday at the Coroners Office in Crook."
Professor Timothy Burt, master of Hatfield College, said: "Members of Hatfield College are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sope Peters.
"Sope was a second-year economics student. He came to Durham University in 2011 and was at Stephenson College where he was a Foundation Year student. He joined Hatfield College in October 2012 to begin his degree studies.
"Sope was a popular student who will be greatly missed.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends".
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