Police have confirmed that a body found in the River Wear is a man who went missing from his home last month.
Daniel Moir, 23, was last seen in the Fatfield area of Washington at around 8.30pm on Tuesday, October 22.
He had left the house he shared with his mum and dad to go for a walk but never returned.
Police launched a major search operation, concentrating their efforts on the area of the river close to their home but on Saturday morning, a fisherman discovered Mr Moir’s body further down the river in Sunderland.
In the wake of the devastating news, Mr Moir’s family thanked the police for their support and asked to be left alone to grieve.
A statement reads: “We want to thank our family, friends and neighbours for their love and support. We also wish to thank Northumbria Police for their commitment and efforts in trying to find Daniel and the help and support of police officers.
“Please respect our privacy now as we deal with our loss.”
Meanwhile, in Durham City police continue to search for missing international student Sope Peters after he went missing on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old left his flat at Highgate at around 10.30pm to go to Klute bar, near to Elvet Bridge.
There he told friends he would meet them in Jimmy Allen’s, another bar close by, but he did not appear.
The last reported sighting of Sope was at Osborne’s bar, also close to Elvet Bridge.
He has not responded to text messages, emails or Facebook messages since and fears are mounting for his safety. His glasses and passport were discovered at his flat.
Police conducting the search said the “most likely scenario” is that the promising young student has gone into the river.
The Northumbria Police marine unit, equipped with underwater cameras, was at the River Wear in the city centre yesterday, joining a team of firefighters and mountain rescue volunteers on their fourth day of attempts to find the economics student.
Sope’s father also yesterday flew into the region from North Virginia in the United States to be briefed personally on how the search has been conducted so far.
Seyi Adegoroye, Sope’s uncle has said the news is “devastating” but added Sope’s family is resolved to remain optimistic.
He said: “It’s a very close-knit family, not just his mum and dad and sister, but also his uncles and grandmother, both in Nigeria and the United States.
“It’s quite devastating.
“We are a family with a very strong faith and we continue to believe Sope will be restored to us by God’s grace.”
Chief Superintendent Rob Coulson, of Durham Police, said officers were speaking to the members of Sope’s family who have arrived in the region.
He said: “We are grateful to our colleagues from Northumbria and from County Durham Fire and Rescue Service for their help.
“The most likely scenario is that Sope has unfortunately come to be in the water at some point after midnight on Tuesday, not long after he was seen leaving Osborne’s bar near Elvet Bridge.
“Our efforts to find him will continue and we are doing everything we can to assist his family and answer any questions they have.”
Anyone with any information as to Sope’s whereabouts is asked to contact Durham Police on 101.