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The body of a young man was located in the river near Kairaki in Christchurch about 3.30pm yesterday by a member of the public.
"While formal identification is yet to take place, it is believed to be that of an 18-year-old missing in the river since December 22," police said in a statement this morning.
Police thanked everyone who helped with the search and said the family had requested privacy.
The death has been referred to the coroner.