Wednesday 19 January 2011
Police have confirmed the identity of a man found in the River Wharfe near Watersole Lane this morning as that of missing Clifford man Steven Johnson. 22-year-old Steven had been reported missing by his family on Sunday (16/1) after he failed to return from a night out in nearby Wetherby the previous evening.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Steven’s mum Diane Johnson has issued the following statement on behalf of the Johnson family. “We are all very proud of Steven and you could not wish for a better son, brother and friend. “He never brought us any trouble and had a great sense of humour, he was my best friend. “He was in a happy relationship and was a good boy with so much to look forward to. “He will be missed by everyone that was fortunate enough to have known him. “As a family we would also like to thank all those who have thought about us and helped with the search for Steven during the last few days.”
Steven Johnson (22) from nearby Clifford had been in the town with a male friend when they lost contact around 00.30 in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The last sighting of Steven is believed to have been between 00.30 and 01.00 on the Wharfe Road Bridge at Wetherby. Steven was reported missing by his mother when he failed to return home on Sunday and extensive police searches, involving the Force helicopter, have been ongoing throughout Sunday and are continuing today.
Among the areas being searched are likely routes that Steven may have taken while attempting to walk home from Wetherby to Clifford. Steven is described as a white male around 5ft 8″ in height, medium build, fair skin with blue eyes and short blonde hair , which is spiked up at the front. He is believed to have been wearing a plain dark blue t-shirt, dark blue jeans, black trainers and a black waistcoat when he was last seen.
Police are growing increasingly concerned for Steven’s safety and regard this to be very out of character. Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Griffin said: “We are trying to piece together Steven’s movements on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday morning and we want to hear from anyone who may have seen someone matching Steven’s description in the area around Wetherby from midnight onwards. “We are particularly keen to hear from any taxi drivers who may have picked Steven up either on his own or with another male in the time around midnight to 1am.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the helpdesk at Killingbeck Police Station via: 0845 60 60 606.