POLICE believe that a body found in the Little Ouse on Sunday may be that of a missing man.
The body was spotted by an off-duty Norfolk police officer who was canoeing on the river near Brandon at around 4pm.
Officers suspect the body may be that of 65-year-old Robert Arnold, who was reported missing on May 24.
A police statement described the body as ‘badly decomposed’ and that it was caught under a tree on a bank near Gashouse Drove.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place in the coming days and at this stage the death is being treated as unexplained.
Susie Sheppard, Mr Arnold’s niece, said: “The family are devastated by the loss of Bob, his bright cheeky character will be sorely missed.
“Our next priority will be laying him to rest in the manner he deserves.”
Mr Arnold, of Beechfields, was last seen on May 21 at around 8pm.
His family stated that it was ‘totally out of character’ for him to disappear at the time of the incident.
Ms Sheppard said: “He was known in the community for going on walks. He had a thing for dogs and he’d always stop and chat to people who had them when he was out.”
Police found his car in Aldi car park a few days after he disappeared.
The Fire Service, Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and police divers were all involved in the search operation.
He has two children, Claire and Karen, and has lived in Brandon for five years.
He moved to the town from Essex, living with his 88-year-old mother, Joyce.
She had returned to live with her daughter in Essex when Mr Arnold initially disappeared but has now returned to Brandon.
Mr Arnold wore two hearing aids and was wearing jeans and a quilted anorak at the time of his disappearance, according to a police description.