AN inquest has been opened into the death of Ben Clarkson, whose body was found in the River Foss on Friday.

Ben, who was 22, disappeared after a night out with a colleague in York on Saturday, March 1.

Since then, specialist police teams spent days searching the Foss for any sign of Ben, and his family, friends and girlfriend appealed to the public for any sightings that had been made of him.

Donald Coverdale, coroner for York, opened and adjourned the inquest into Mr Clarkson’s death, and said his body had been spotted by a police officer engaged in the search.

Floral tributes have been left close to where Mr Clarkson’s body was found, with a message from his girlfriend Rachel Peatfield which read: “Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss you in the same way that words cannot describe how much I loved you. I am going to miss your smile and your amazing personality.”

Speaking on local local radio, Rachel said she wanted to be an ambassador for river safety and if she can turn her experience in to something positive it will help her grief for him.

Music Room in Lendal, where Mr Clarkson worked, was closed yesterday “until further notice”, as a mark of respect following the announcement.

Mr Coverdale said Andrew Wilson, Mr Clarkson’s father, had identified the body, and a post mortem had been carried out over the weekend, returning a preliminary cause of death as drowning.

Mr Coverdale said he would provide the appropriate documents to allow Mr Clarkson’s family to make funeral arrangements, and scheduled the inquest to be reopened in July.