River searched in hunt for missing student

Police looking for missing student Megan Roberts are searching the River Ouse in York.

Divers from the regional underwater search unit have been searching a stretch of the river near to Lendal Bridge in the area where Megan was last seen at around 2.20am on Thursday 23 January 2014

An update on the investigation from Superintendent Phil Cain of North Yorkshire Police is below.

Supt Cain said: Megan Roberts has now been missing for almost a week.

Her disappearance was reported to police by her mother on Monday 27 January 2014 after she had not been in contact with a family or friends for a number of days.

Understandably there have been growing and grave concerns for her safety which has triggered a great deal of police activity, and interest from the media and the public.

Some of that activity has played out on social media and has led to a number of theories about her fate including potential links to the Claudia Lawrence case.

It is very important, not least for Megan’s family and friends, to deal with the facts as they currently present. Those facts are based on evidence resulting from a variety of police enquiries to date.

It has been established that Megan was one of a group of young adults – all of who were friends – who had been drinking for several hours prior to leaving Popworld night club around 2.10am on Thursday 23, January.

All in the group including Megan were heavily affected by alcohol.

Megan RobertsThat group whilst together were widely spread out as they made their way from Popworld across Lendal Bridge to McDonalds.

Having separated, part of the group ran down Tanners Moat, in front of The Maltings public house towards the river looking for the others.

Megan through the effects of alcohol was the last in the group and bumped into some of the cycle racks as she followed others.

CCTV evidence does NOT show Megan running back up the same street with the others to rejoin the main group.

All members of the group concerned have been traced and spoken to at length by the police.

There is nothing at this stage to indicate that any member of that group of friends or anybody else is directly responsible for Megan’s disappearance.

A range of other police enquiries, including investigating theories described on social media sites, have been undertaken by a range of police resources including detectives. The results of which does NOT indicate that Megan’s disappearance is the result of any criminal activity.

Consequently the strongest and most probable line of enquiry being pursued by police is that Megan, affected by alcohol, has entered the river.

Clearly we will not be in a position to definitively to confirm this to be the case until Megan is found.

The possibility still exists that Megan is elsewhere safe and well, but realistically given the passage of time, such a possibility is increasingly remote.

I emphasise that there is no evidence to indicate foul play of criminality and certainly NO evidence to link Megan’s disappearance to the Claudia Lawrence case.

On balance, this presents as a group of young friends on a night out that is likely to have ended in tragedy.

Our primary emphasis will centre on the continual search of the river and the surrounding area using specialist search resources.

We continue to support Megan’s family with specially trained officers.

Anyone with information about Megan’s disappearance is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 1 – and pass information to the Force Control Room.

Missing People charity

The search for Megan is being supported by the Missing People charity, who have helped to raise awareness of her disappearance in York.

They have been handing out posters in the city centre and at York St John University, where Megan is a student.

Tonight and in the early hours of Thursday 30 January 2014, officers will hand out copies of the poster in the area where Megan was known to have been on the night she was last seen, to mark one week since her disappearance.

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