UPDATE 3PM: Police say missing York student Megan Roberts most likely fell in river while drunk

The Northern Echo: Student Megan Roberts Student Megan Roberts

POLICE searching for missing Megan Roberts have said the most probable scenario is that she entered the river while "heavily affected by alcohol".

Superintendent Phil Cain described the last known movements of the York St John University student almost a week after the 20-year-old went missing in the city.

Mr Cain said: "The strongest and most probable line of inquiry being pursued by police is that Megan, affected by alcohol, has entered the river."

Speaking close to the Lendal Bridge over the River Ouse in York, Mr Cain stressed that there was no evidence to indicate foul play.

He also said there was nothing to link Miss Roberts' disappearance to the case of Claudia Lawrence - the university chef who went missing in York in 2009 and who police believe has been murdered.

"On balance, this presents as a group of young friends on a night out that is likely to have ended in tragedy," the officer said.

Miss Roberts, who is from Wetherby, North Yorkshire, and lived in the Clifton area of York, was last seen in the early hours of Thursday following a night out.

But it was only when family and friends realised earlier this week that she was missing that the alarm was raised.

North Yorkshire Police have studied CCTV footage and interviewed Miss Roberts' friends in an effort to trace her last movements.

Today a police diver was scouring the river bank close to the Lendal Bridge, near where Miss Roberts was last captured on CCTV.

The Northern Echo:
A police diver enters the River Ouse near Lendal Bridge, in York

Mr Cain said: "Understandably there has been growing and grave concerns for her safety which has triggered a great deal of police activity and interest from the media and the public.

"Some of that activity has played out on social media and has led to a number of theories about her fate, including potential links to the Claudia Lawrence case.

"It is very important, not least for Megan's family and friends, to deal with the facts as they currently present.
Those facts are based on evidence resulting from a variety of police inquiries to date."

The officer said Miss Roberts was with a group of friends who had been drinking for several hours before leaving the Popworld nightclub, in York city centre, at around 2.10am on Thursday morning.

He said: "All the group, including Megan, were heavily affected by alcohol."

Mr Cain explained how the group were spread out and some of them ran down a street called Tanners Moat, past The Maltings pub, where Miss Roberts - the last in the group - was spotted bumping into a row of cycle racks.

The Northern Echo:
A police diver enters the River Ouse near Lendal Bridge, in York

CCTV evidence does not show Megan running back up the same street with the others to rejoin the main group, he said.

Mr Cain said the group of friends has been extensively spoken to and officers are confident that none of them is directly responsible for Miss Roberts' disappearance.

"The possibility still exists that Megan is elsewhere safe and well but, realistically, given the passage of time, such a possibility is increasingly remote," Mr Cain said.

Comments (4)

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9:52am Wed 29 Jan 14

ian923 says...

Police have already said this poor girl is not the victim of a criminal act. How can they know when they have no idea where she is or how she disappeared. I would have preferred the "keeping an open mind" speech. God forbid but if a crime against her has been committed there will be much egg on face for Police.
Police have already said this poor girl is not the victim of a criminal act. How can they know when they have no idea where she is or how she disappeared. I would have preferred the "keeping an open mind" speech. God forbid but if a crime against her has been committed there will be much egg on face for Police. ian923

3:33pm Wed 29 Jan 14

jancamp says...

If the poor girl has gone into the river then - given that this seems to keep happening - isn't it about time that this stretch of river bank was fenced off in some way? - you can see how high the water is from the pictures - fast running water and youngsters going out for the night just do not mix. It could be done without spoiling the view for tourists or access to the river for boat users with a little thought but even if it isn't - aren't our young people more important anyway?
If the poor girl has gone into the river then - given that this seems to keep happening - isn't it about time that this stretch of river bank was fenced off in some way? - you can see how high the water is from the pictures - fast running water and youngsters going out for the night just do not mix. It could be done without spoiling the view for tourists or access to the river for boat users with a little thought but even if it isn't - aren't our young people more important anyway? jancamp

4:24pm Wed 29 Jan 14

budgiegirl says...

And a thought for the divers who do this dreadful job.
And a thought for the divers who do this dreadful job. budgiegirl

10:39pm Wed 29 Jan 14

ian923 says...

Over the last few years a fair number of "missing" people have ended up in either the river Ouse or the Foss. Drink certainly does seem to have been a major factor in a lot of the deaths but it does not seem to have ever been considered that there could be another factor I.e someone pushing them in.
Over the last few years a fair number of "missing" people have ended up in either the river Ouse or the Foss. Drink certainly does seem to have been a major factor in a lot of the deaths but it does not seem to have ever been considered that there could be another factor I.e someone pushing them in. ian923

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