THE body found in York’s River Ouse is not that of missing man Rory Johnson-Hatfield, his supporters say.

North Yorkshire Police cordoned off a stretch of the river bank for several hours yesterday afternoon between Alma Terrace and the Millennium Bridge while a body was recovered from the water.

Officers have said they are not yet ready to identify the body and there has been some speculation it might be that of Rory Johnson-Hatfield, who went missing during a night out in York in November 2015.

The river was searched repeatedly after his disappearance, with Rory thought by police to have entered the water somewhere around the City Mills area, but he has still not been found.

A message posted last night by Jacqui Rhodes on the Facebook page ‘Rory Johnson is Missing!’ which keeps supporters informed of the family’s continuing efforts to find him, says: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the man who was found in the York river today.

“To clarify, it wasn't Rory, as so many of you have questioned this. So very sad and take care everyone. Thank you from Rory's family and friends for all your continued support.

“Please keep looking and sharing Rory's story as we go into 2017. We need him home where he belongs with his family and friends.”

A police spokesman said officers were called at about 1.30pm yesterday by a member of the public, reporting that they had seen a body in the River Ouse, near Holly Terrace, York.

"With the assistance of the Fire and Rescue Service, the body of a man was recovered from the water a short time later. Officers are investigating how the man came to be in the river. We are not yet in a position to identify the deceased."

The fire service also attended, sending a crew from Acomb to the scene with a fire engine and boat.

The cordon was lifted at about 4.30pm.