A body found in the River Ely on Tuesday is that of missing rugby fan Ben Thompson, police have confirmed this afternoon.
Thirty-four-year-old Ben, from Haverfordwest, went missing on February 2 after watching the Wales v Ireland match at the Millennium Stadium.
South Wales Police said this afternoon that formal identification of a body found in the River Ely near Penarth Road on Tuesday has now taken place, and they had broken the devastating news to Ben’s family.
A police spokesman said there were no suspicious circumstances around Ben’s death, and an inquest will be held in due course.
In a statement, Ben’s wife Jo said: “Losing Ben has left us all devastated but finding him on Tuesday has answered many unanswered questions and given us the chance to say our goodbyes.
“Somehow we must now move on with our lives and ask to be allowed to grieve in peace for such a kind and loving man.
“We wish to thank Ben’s friends and colleagues for their support and South Wales Police for their efforts in searching for Ben.”
Ben had watched the first Six Nations match in Cardiff with friends on Saturday February 2, but appeared to go off on his own in the city centre around 6.30pm.
CCTV footage later showed him in the Leckwith area, crossing Leckwith Road into Lawrenny Avenue at 7.17pm, and images captured him minutes later walking down a lane at the end of Lawrenny Avenue towards wasteland.
There were no further sightings of him.
Up to 50 officers have been involved in the search operation for Ben over the last six weeks, including detectives and specialist search teams who spent hours searching the Leckwith area where he was last seen.
His body was found on Tuesday afternoon by a member of the public.
Chief Inspector Eddie Ough, from South Wales Police, said: “At times like this the people of Cardiff really come together and South Wales Police would like to thank local residents, businesses and the media for their co-operation during our investigation.
“We are grateful for this support and the many kind offers we received – from businesses printing posters for free, to Cardiff City Football Club providing our search teams with a room for equipment, and the Sand Martin Pub accommodating briefings and a press conference.
“We wanted to find Ben alive and well but sadly that was not to be.
“We hope now at least that his friends and family have an element of closure and can be allowed to grieve in peace.”