Xavier Thomas is missing after he was walking on London Bridge during the attacks. His girlfriend Christine Delcros is critically injured and in hospital.
Xavier Thomas is missing after he was walking on London Bridge during the attacks. His girlfriend Christine Delcros is critically injured and in hospital.

Body found in river 5km from London Bridge

Metropolitan police have confirmed they have found the body of a man in the Thames River, believed to be that of missing Frenchman Xavier Thomas.

The discovery brings the number of victims to eight. after three men in a van drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and then went on a frenzied stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market on Saturday. Dozens more were injured.

Police said a man's body was found on Tuesday night at nearly 8pm near Limehouse by specialist officers.

"Formal identification has not yet taken place, however Mr. Thomas' next of kin have been informed of this development," they said in a statement.

"Detectives investigating the terrorist attack in London Bridge on Saturday, 3 June, can confirm the number of people that were killed as a result of the attack is now eight."

Earlier, Mr Thomas's family had appealed for help with fears the van had thrown him into the river.

His sister Nathalie Cros Brohan said: "The silence and waiting without news of him, is terrible. My sister has tried to remember each moment of the drama. We don't understand why we can't find him in the hospitals despite the photo that I have circulated to try and identify him.

"We fear that the collision with the terrorists' van threw him into the Thames. The more time that passes, the more we fear the worst and our hope diminishes."

Mr Thomas was with his girlfriend Christine Delcros when the attackers' van slammed into the two of them. Ms Delcros was seriously injured and is fighting for her life in hospital.

The news brings the number of victims to eight. They are: Australians Kirsty Boden and Sara Zelenak (below), Frenchmen Sebastien Belanger, Alexandre Pigeard, and Xavier Thomas, Canadian woman Christine Archibald, Brit James McMullan and Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria.

Sara Zelenak
Sara Zelenak Facebook - Sara Zelenak

Mr Echeverria, 39, (below) bravely tried to fight off one of the three terrorists with his skateboard as he helped an injured woman.

The family of Ignacio Echeverria, 39, expressed their ‘agony’ at the delay in finding him. Source:Facebook
The family of Ignacio Echeverria, 39, expressed their ‘agony’ at the delay in finding him. Source:Facebook

A man believed to be Mr Echeverria's brother-in-law told Downing Street in a tweet that relatives had gone 63 hours without news, causing "unnecessary agony".

Fernando Vergara said families of the victims "feel mistreated by lack of information."

His sister Isabel has reportedly spent hours trying to visit hospitals in London in the hope of finding her brother alive. "We just need to know," she said. "My mother is suffering."

She told Spanish news site El Confidencial she thought the British government was not providing information "because of the proximity of the elections."

It took days to find and identify some victims of the attacks, with the family of Ms Zelenak, 21, revealing they still did not know what had happened to her on Wednesday.

South Australian nurse Ms Boden - said to have run back towards danger to help the victims - was confirmed dead by her family on Wednesday night.

French waiter Ms Pigeard, who was working at a bistro at the south end of London Bridge. The 27-year-old from Normandy, who had lived in the city for nine months, was stabbed in the neck in front of friends at Boro Bistro. His death was "an incredible injustice", said his father Philippe.

Canadian bride-to-be Ms Archibald died in her fiance's arms. The 30-year-old was hit by the speeding van on London Bridge.

She had been out for a late-night walk to see the sights of London, having visited the capital from the Netherlands with her fiance, Tyler Ferguson.

Mr Ferguson's sister urged friends to help support her brother, after his heart had been broken into a "million pieces".

In the UK, the police are constrained by a formal process for identifying fatal victims of crimes that is meant to prevent errors.

"Accurately identifying victims is crucial and every care is taken to ensure this is done as quickly as possible, with due consideration to the families," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, but a spokesman declined to comment on specific victims.

But after the attacks on Westminster Bridge in March, Scotland Yard revealed the identities of the dead just a day after the attack.

Experts suggested protocol may have tightened after leaks to the US media about the Manchester attack.

The fact many of the victims were international is thought to have added to the challenge.

News Corp Australia


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