Leicestershire Police say the body recovered on 5 April has been formally identified as that of 22-year-old, Josh Cotton. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

7 April

Police have confirmed the body found in the River Trent, between Trent Lock and Attenborough Nature Reserve, is that of 22-year-old Josh Cotton.

Josh was last seen near his narrow boat, The Spirit, moored at Sawley Marina at around 4pm on Friday, 11 March.

His family reported him missing in the following hours, sparking a major police search involving officers, police community support officers, support staff and volunteers, together with officers from other forces and police divers from Nottinghamshire Police.

In a statement, Leicestershire Police say a post-mortem examination has failed to determine the precise cause of Josh’s death and further tests will now be carried out. However, officers are not treating his death as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the Coroner.

“We would like to thank the public and the media for their help and support to find Josh in the last few weeks and to extend our sympathies to his family at this very sad time,” concludes the police’s statement.

6 April

Police officers searching for missing man Josh Cotton have found a body.

In a statement, Leicestershire Police said the discovery was made at around 1pm on 5 April, as officers carried out searches of the River Trent between Trent Lock and the Attenborough Nature Reserve.

“Formal identification of the deceased has not yet taken place but it is believed to be missing 22-year-old, Josh Cotton. His family have been informed,” said the statement.

A post-mortem examination is scheduled to take place today, 6 April.

Cotton was last seen on 11 March at Sawley Marina, Long Eaton

21 March 

Police are asking boat owners at an East Midlands marina for help in their search for a missing 22-year-old man.

Josh Cotton, who lived on a narrow boat has not been seen since 4pm on 11 March, and Leicestershire Police want to spread word of his disappearance through the boating community.

Police helicopters have carried out searches of the area using thermal imaging cameras and divers have searched the water around Cotton’s boat, but have thus far found nothing.

Sgt James Cross, of Leicestershire Police, said: “We want to make Josh’s face well known, not only to the boating community but also to the wider public.”

Cotton’s boat The Spirit is moored at Sawley Marina, near Long Eaton in Nottinghamshire. The marina is the largest inland marina in the UK, where more than 100 boat owners make their home, and police spent the weekend making visits to the marina as the search for Cotton entered its second week.

Leicester Police have posted a message on their Facebook page that includes a video appeal made by Cotton’s family, who say the young man maintained daily contact before his disappearance.

Cotton disappeared from the barge, leaving his phone, his wallet and his clothes behind.

The post said: “The longer Josh remains missing, our concerns grow for his safety, not least because his mobile phone, from which his family say he is inseparable, has been found on his boat.

“When he was last seen, Josh was wearing black jogging bottoms, dark grey high-top trainers and a short brown hooded coat with fur along all of the external seams and above the pockets.

“Anyone who knows where Josh is, or who sees him, is asked to contact police on 101.”

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