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Body found in River Stour in Canterbury thought to be missing man John Harvey

Kent Search and Rescue vounteers have been using canoes to navigate the miles of narrow waterways in the search for missing John Harvey.

by Joe Walker

Further tests need to be carried out after a man's body was pulled out of the River Stour in Canterbury.

A post mortem was carried out after the body was found by a kayaker on Friday morning.

Police have confirmed they are not treating the death as suspicious, but more tests are being carried out to establish the cause of death.

They said today they believed the body may be that of 54-year-old John Harvey of Minster, but a formal identification hasn't taken place.

The 54-year-old’s car was found abandoned at the Stodmarsh Nature Reserve in January, sparking a massive manhunt for the wildlife expert.

Police scaled down the search for him last week, but made the discovery of a body in the river on Friday.

John Harvey went missing at Stodmarsh Nature Reserve, near CanterburyUnipart worker Mr Harvey, from Minster, went missing on January 19 after visiting the 600-acre reserve.

His Ford Focus was found abandoned, but he is believed to have taken his camera equipment with him.

Speaking during the search, DI Jon Holl said: "His camera equipment is missing and in his car were his driving shoes, which suggests he had changed into some other footwear.

"We know that Mr Harvey was a very keen photographer, particularly of trees, and it is possible he went looking for photographic opportunities because of the snowfall.

"But the conditions were potentially treacherous and the features of the reserve would have changed in the snowfall.

"It would have been quite easy to have stepped the wrong way."

Mr Harvey’s long-term partner Stephanie Austin and his daughter Claire Harvey, 28, visited the reserve two weeks ago to thank the search party for their efforts.

On a Facebook page set up to help find Mr Harvey, his niece Hannah Marley wrote: "A body has been found in the Stour. The police are investigating the identity but it is likely to be my uncle.

"On behalf of John’s family and friends, I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last four weeks."

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