THE search for a missing University of Essex student has been called off after police officers discovered a body in a canal.

Greater Manchester Police had been searching for Charley Gadd, from Belchamp Otten, since the 20-year-old disappeared on December 11 following a night out at the Warehouse Project in Manchester.

A police spokesman said a body was found in Manchester Ship Canal shortly after 11.30am yesterday and, while not formally identified, is understood to be Mr Gadd’s.

Halstead Gazette: Charley GaddCharley Gadd

His family has been informed and are receiving specialist support.

The spokesman said: “Officers have called off the search in a missing person investigation following the discovery of a body believed to be 20-year-old Charley Gadd.

Read more: 'We're extremely worried' - Canal search for missing University of Essex student

“An investigation was launched after Charley was reported missing on December 11 after he attended Warehouse Project with his parents.

“Sadly, just after 11.30am yesterday officers were called to a report of a body found in Manchester Ship Canal.

“The body has not yet been formally identified, but it is thought to be Charley. There are believed to be no suspicious circumstances and a report is being prepared for HM Coroner.

“His family are being supported by specialist officers at this difficult time.”