Missing York student Megan Roberts likely to have fallen in river while drunk, say police

 

Police searching for missing Megan Roberts have said the most probable scenario is that she "entered the river" while "heavily affected by alcohol".

Superintendent Phil Cain described the last known movements of the York St John University student almost a week after the 20-year-old went missing in the city.

Mr Cain said: "The strongest and most probable line of inquiry being pursued by police is that Megan, affected by alcohol, has entered the river."

Speaking close to the Lendal Bridge over the River Ouse in York, Mr Cain stressed that there was "no evidence to indicate foul play".

He also said there was nothing to link Miss Roberts' disappearance to the case of Claudia Lawrence - the university chef who went missing in York in 2009 and who police believe has been murdered.

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

Miss Roberts, who is from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, and lived in the Clifton area of York, was last seen in the early hours of Thursday following a night out.

But it was only when family and friends realised earlier this week that she was missing that the alarm was raised.

North Yorkshire Police have studied CCTV footage and interviewed Miss Roberts' friends in an effort to trace her last movements.

Today a police diver was scouring the river bank close to the Lendal Bridge, near where Miss Roberts was last captured on CCTV.

Mr Cain said: "Understandably there has 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 inquiries to date."

The officers said Miss Roberts was with a group of friends who had been drinking "for several hours" before leaving the Popworld nightclub, in York city centre, at around 2.10am on Thursday morning.

He said: "All the group, including Megan, were heavily affected by alcohol."

Mr Cain explained how the group were spread out and some of them ran down a street called Tanner's Moat, past The Maltings pub, where Miss Roberts - the last in the group - was spotted bumping into a row of cycle racks.

"CCTV evidence does not show Megan running back up the same street with the others to rejoin the main group," he said.

Mr Cain said the group of friends has been extensively spoken to and officers are confident that none of them is directly responsible for Miss Roberts's disappearance.

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

Yesterday, police played down Twitter messages exchanged between Miss Roberts and friends a few days before she disappeared which appeared to indicate a possible stalker.

Officers said "friends are convinced there was nothing to suggest Megan was being stalked at that stage" and "we do not believe that is connected to Megan's disappearance".

Miss Roberts is described as around 5ft 6in and of medium build with long dark brown hair. When last seen she was wearing a cream knee-length dress which had large brown and orange flowers on it and black plimsolls-type shoes.

Police said that specially trained officers are supporting the missing student's family.

Volunteers from the charity Missing People were out in force on Lendal Bridge and in the main shopping areas of York today, asking the public to keep vigilant and distributing Miss Roberts' picture.

Martin Crosby, from the charity, said: "When somebody goes missing, that affects the town or city they were from as well as people directly affected. People in York have been very, very generous and very supportive. They are looking to work out how they can help, really."

PA

 

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is currently recruitin...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week