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Riddle of body in river

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 13, 2013

10/05/13 Body in the River - River Trent, Newton Rd, Burton Body found in the river Trent adjecent Newton Rd on Burton

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POLICE today named a man found dead in the River Trent in Burton.

He was identified as 20-year-old Joseph Whiteside.

After carrying out initial enquiries, Staffordshire Police said they believed Mr Whiteside was from the Burton area and his death appeared ‘a tragic accident’.

Police began trying to establish Mr Whiteside’s identity after his body was retrieved from the River Trent, near Meadow Lane, shortly before 8pm on Friday.

Emergency crews had been called two hours earlier after a canoeist on the river made the discovery.

Police requested back up from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service which provided appliances from Burton and Tamworth, and a specialist water rescue team.

Forensic experts from Staffordshire Police also attended.

In fading light, firefighters could be seen on board an inflatable raft on the river, while a lone police sergeant barred public access to what had by then been declared a potential crime scene.

Detective Sergeant Ian Fitzgerald, of Staffordshire Police, later told the Mail the death was not being treated as suspicious.

He said: “Police were notified by a local canoeist of a body in the water.

“With assistance from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service a body has been recovered from the River Trent.

“The coroner has been notified and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course.”

Police said Mr Whiteside was 6ft tall with red and blonde dyed hair and a bar piercing in his right ear.

He was wearing a light coloured T-shirt with the word ‘Ecko’ written on the front, blue jeans with cuffs on the bottom and may have been wearing a grey body warmer.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen him to come forward to help establish the circumstances surrounding his death.

Witnesses should call Burton CID or DS Fitzgerald on 101. and quote incident number 582 of May 10, 2013.

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