Death of student found in River Severn treated as unexplained

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Detectives who discovered the body of a student in a river during his first week at university are treating his death as unexplained.

West Mercia Police said the body found in the River Severn in Worcester has been formally identified as Thomas Jones, who disappeared on September 19.

Two men were previously arrested on suspicion of murder but were released without charge on September 25.

The 18-year-old’s death is being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem is ongoing, the force added.

Hundreds of volunteers helped to find the teenager, who was thought to have crossed the Sabrina footbridge before walking on to the footpath along the top of the flood defences on Hylton Road towards Hallow just before 3.50am.

His body was found at the South Quay in the city on Friday.

Superintendent Damian Pettit said: “I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Thomas’ family.

“Over the course of the investigation, the support that they have received from friends and members of the public to help try and find Thomas has been greatly appreciated.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has shared our appeals and those who have volunteered and dedicated their time to help. The sense of community has been overwhelming.”

Mr Pettit added: “Our officers and partners have also been working around the clock over the last couple of weeks to try to provide answers as to Thomas’ whereabouts and sadly this is not the outcome any of us hoped for.

“Specially trained officers are supporting Thomas’ family and I would ask that the media continue to respect their privacy at this time.”

Police and crime commissioner John Campion said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Thomas Jones at this unimaginably difficult time.

“The response from the public has been outstanding and I’d like to thank all those came together to support and volunteer their time, showing Worcester’s true community spirit.

“I’d also like to thank the West Mercia Police officers and partners in other agencies including the fire service and West Mercia Search and Rescue, who have worked tirelessly and professionally to support throughout.”

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