Published: 09:30, 12 January 2015
Natasha Morgan has paid an emotional tribute to her boyfriend Pat Lamb following confirmation his body has been found.
Natasha, who had played a leading role in the search including releasing a heart-rending video appeal for information, described Pat as the love of her life.
She added: "What can I say? Words cannot describe the pain and heartbreak. He is loved by so many and he loved so many too.
"I will miss him so much I have no words. I keep expecting to wake up from this nightmare next to him in our bed with him saying 'Morning, monkey socks!'
"He was the love of my life and someone I could never let go and will never let go.
La Dolce a vita my puddy. I will always keep you in my and others' hearts forever xx".
Earlier Helen Stockman, 41, a key member of search group, told how she was with Natasha when she was informed yesterday that the body of the 28-year-old had been discovered in the River Medway at Cuxton Marina.
She said: "Tasha is heartbroken. She didn't want to believe it was him.
"Patrick was her life and it's clear they loved each other dearly.
"I'm devastated for Tasha and Pat's family. No amount of words can heal their pain. I will always be there for them. They are part of my life now."
The volunteer said Miss Morgan is being cared for by her family at this devastating time.
Hundreds of other people have been paying tribute on social media and on this website.
On Monday, it was revealed permission has been granted by Maidstone council for flowers to be laid in tribute at the river Medway between Asda and TK Maxx. Those who wish to do so are encouraged to use the steps down to the river by the Asda Living store.
Pat Lamb's sister Zoe paid a moving tribute to "the most amazing brother". She said on her Facebook page: "My heart truly aches as I have to write this but last night our worlds came crashing down when we finally got our answers for Pat.
"My amazingly kind hearted, talented and selfless brother unfortunately passed away in the early hours of Saturday 13th December.
"I would never be able to put into words how hard this past month has been and for every day that I rung Patrick's phone I wish I heard his voice answer telling me he was safe.
"Patrick was truly the most amazing brother a little sister could ask for and I know he will continue to look out for me. Sleep tight Pat, love you."
Pat's father Tony Lamb confirmed late last night that the body pulled from the River Medway at Cuxton Marina was that of his son.
Mr Lamb said police had retrieved Pat's phone and wallet and that the family would be issuing a statement on Monday.
The heartbreaking news brings to an end the month-long search for the 28-year-old.
Pat's family and Miss Morgan had been informed following the discovery of the body at about 3.30pm on Saturday.
The Pat Lamb Search Team posted a message on its Facebook page last night, reading: "It is now been confirmed that Patrick's body has been identified as the body found at Cuxton.
"As a team we are heartbroken and send our condolences to the family and Tasha. I would like to thank everyone of you for your time and commitment shown as a community and nation. THANK YOU SO MUCH XX."
The search team asked people to light a candle for Pat at 2.30pm today instead of a planned release of 500 helium balloons that was due to take place at Mote Park in an attempt to raise awareness of his disappearance.
On the Find Patrick Lamb Facebook page, Helen Davies said: "My thoughts go out to Tasha and Pat's family. No words can take away the grief or pain. Such sad sad news and something that has shocked the area far and wide. RIP Pat xx."
Writing on this website, Steffi Hawkins said: "Despite not knowing him personally but having spent the entirety of last few weeks of sleepless nights poring over every single detail of his disappearance and potential sightings I am absolutely gutted by the sad news tonight."
On the KentOnline Facebook page, Lavina Olewa Oluban said: "Such a sad ending, one we'd all hoped wouldn't happen but his family's search has been an absolute inspiration and leaves a legacy of love and of community spirit. May his soul now rest in peace."
Rev Roger Knight, of St Michael and All Angels Church in Rochester Road, Cuxton, said he would include Pat and his family during today's morning prayers.
Kent Police were called to Cuxton Marina at 3.31pm on Saturday.
Alan Stonehouse, owner of the marina, said the body was spotted in the water by a teenage girl who was staying with relatives in one of the moored boats.
The 55-year-old said: "The girl saw something unusual in the water and went out to have a closer look. She called for help when she realised what it was.
"A friend came out and held onto the man's coat while the girl came to the office to find me. She was understandably very distressed.
"I used rope to secure the body by the pontoon until the police arrived about five minutes later. They then carried out a recovery procedure to remove the body."
Mr Stonehouse added: "We were aware he had been missing as we had seen the posters up this way. It's very sad, especially for those who knew him."
Officers left the scene at about 6.30pm.
A witness, who did not wish to give his name, said: "There was a lot of police here and they were here for sometime. It's terrible and very difficult to deal with."
Another resident said: "Everything ends up in that spot of the river."
She added: "I've been following the story really closely, I can't get my head around it. It's so sad."
Pat, 28, from Greenhithe, went missing after a night out in Maidstone one month ago.
His disappearance sparked a huge hunt by his family and girlfriend, with more than 40,000 people joining the Facebook page set up to help find him.
On Friday, a reconstruction of his last known movements was released in a desperate bid to jog people's memories, featuring an emotional appeal by his sister Zoe Lamb.
Natasha Morgan had also been playing a leading role in the search, releasing her own emotional video soon after his disappearance.
Pat became separated from his friends after having drinks at Bar Chocolate, in Maidstone's Market Buildings during the early hours of December 13.
CCTV cameras picked him up walking down the High Street, near Pudding Lane, and again crossing the road at Fairmeadow.
He was heading towards the River Medway but daily searches and three dives by specially trained police officers did not find him.
A Kent Police spokesman said the death is not being treated as suspicious. He added a formal identification is yet to be recorded with the coroner for Mid Kent and Medway.
Donations made during the search, which currently stand at more than £3,000, will now be sent to Kent Search and Rescue.
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More by this authorJames Walker