Body found in search for missing 13-year-old Elephant & Castle schoolboy who fell from Tower Bridge

Police believe they have found the body of a schoolboy who fell into the Thames from Tower Bridge last week.

The 13-year-old, a pupil at Ark Globe academy in Elephant & Castle, was travelling to school with a friend by bus on the morning of 20 April when he got off and then went missing.

Witnesses said a member of the public entered the Thames in an attempt to save the teenager but was only able to retrieve his jacket and schoolbag.

Formal identification has not yet taken place, but City of London police said they believed they had found the boy’s body.

City of London police said: “At around midday on Wednesday April 28, 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.”

The school’s executive principal, Matt Jones, told parents in a letter after the disappearance that the boy, who was in full school uniform, exited the bus near the bridge before his usual stop closest to the school, and then fell into the Thames.

In a statement on Thursday, 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.”

Last week in a statement from the school he had said the boy got off his bus early, wearing full uniform, and “fell into the river” from the landmark bridge.

He said in a letter to parents: “It is with worry that I share news about (the boy’s name), a Year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy.

“On the morning of Tuesday 20 April, (he) 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.

“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 ongoing. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”

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