Police believe they have recovered the body of the 13-year-old Southwark schoolboy who fell into the Thames from Tower Bridge last Tuesday (April 20).
The boy was a Year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy near Elephant and Castle. Police found a body on Wednesday but he has not been formally identified yet.
A spokesperson for the City of London police said: “At around midday on Wednesday 28 April, a body was recovered from the River Thames by marine units which we believe to be that of a 13 year old who has been missing since Tuesday 20 April. His family have been informed but at this time formal identification has not yet taken place.”
Ark Globe’s principal Matt Jones said: “We are very saddened to hear that a body has been found and that the police believe it is the missing student of ours. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. As a school community, we are pulling together ensuring all our students are supported at this difficult time.”
In a letter sent to parents the previous Wednesday (April 21) the school named the student breaking the terrible news and said that he is being treated as a missing person by police.
The News has withheld the boy’s name until we have more information from police. In the letter Jones said that the boy “did not make his way into school despite travelling on a bus with a friend in full school uniform. He got off the bus near Tower Bridge before his usual bus stop nearest to Ark Globe Academy and fell into the River Thames.”
The letter continued: “This is obviously distressing news for [the] family, friends and the wider Ark Globe Community. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”
Jones urged parents to contact the school if they think their child needs help, or the NSPCC, the UK’s top children’s charity, if it is outside school hours.
He also told parents that school staff “know the important role they play in keeping children safe” and reminded them of Ark’s safeguarding procedures. He added that the last year has been “a very difficult time” for many students and their families.
Jones told the News last week: “We can confirm that a student at Ark Globe Academy did not arrive to school on the morning Tuesday 20 April as expected. At this moment in time, there is a live police investigation in relation to the young person’s disappearance. The police are treating this case as a ‘missing persons’ incident.
“This is obviously distressing news for the young person’s family, friends, and the wider Ark Globe Community. As a school community, we are dealing with this sensitively so as not to compromise the integrity of the police investigation and we wish to respect the privacy of the family while the investigation is on-going. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”
A City of London spokesperson said: “City of London Police is leading an investigation into a missing person, working alongside our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service.
“We believe this is linked to an incident where a child fell into the Thames from Tower Bridge. Despite an intensive search by City of London Police, the police helicopter and marine units, this person has not yet been found.
“We ask anyone who witnessed anything on Tuesday 20 April at 8.09am, to call us on 020 7601 2999, quoting reference 21000215310.”
We reported on Tuesday that emergency service workers were still looking for a person who had fallen into the Thames at around 8am that morning. A woman was also pulled out of the Thames that morning.
Call the NSPCC on their dedicated helpline 0808 800 5000
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