POLICE have confirmed the body of a man found in a river in York is missing Ben Clarkson.

This afternoon (Sunday, March 23) officers confirmed that a body found in the River Foss on Friday, March 21, has been formally identified as Mr Clarkson.

The 22-year-old went missing in the early hours of March 2, after failing to return to his home in the Heworth Green area of the city, or his shift at a local music shop, after leaving Fibber’s music venue in Stonebow.

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The former York St John University student was last seen at 3.40am on Layerthorpe nearly three weeks previously.

His body was discovered at 5pm on Friday, March 21 at Foss Bank, near the entrance of Sainsbury’s, on the day the police underwater search team resumed their examination of the River Foss. Lengthy underwater searches had previously been carried out in the Foss as part of the investigation.

Specially trained officers from North Yorkshire Police are providing continued to support to Mr Clarkson’s family following the discovery.

His girlfriend, Rachel Peatfield, 22, issued a statement saying she was “truly heartbroken” that she had lost the love of her life. The pair first met at high school in Leeds when they were 11-years-old and quickly formed a close bond.

In a statement she said: “Ben was a wonderful character who was so kind and gentle and brought joy to many people's lives and touched the hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. I am truly heartbroken that I have lost the love of my life and I will treasure the fond memories we have made over the past 11 years dearly.

"Ben was an amazing partner, son, grandson, brother and uncle and no one will ever replace him. Thank you."

The discovery comes less than a month after the body of Megan Roberts was found in the River Ouse near Acaster Malbis, about five miles downstream of the city centre.

The 20-year-old fine arts student is believed to have drowned in the River Ouse on January 23 after a night out in York.

North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has helped organised an urgent river safety summit in the city March 25, involving a number of organisations across the city.