Police Hunt Wet Clothes Man

10 January 2013, 11:08 | Updated: 10 January 2013, 11:25

Police investigating the death of a man found in the River Great Ouse in Bedford are trying to track down another man they believe fell in.

A body thought to be that of Felix Yorke was found in the Great Ouse on the afternoon New Year's Day, Tuesday 1 January 2013.  Tests have yet to confirm if the body is definitely that of the 25 year old from Luton, who went missing at 5pm on Friday 30 November 2012.

He was last seen leaving work at Topman in Luton.

Bedfordshire Police now think another person may have fallen into the River Great Ouse on Friday 30 November. 

Officers have two reported incidents at the moment which may, or may not be, linked to Felix’s death as they try to piece together his last movements.

Police say they and the fire service had already extensively searched the banks of the River Great Ouse where it runs under Prebend Street on Friday 30 November, and again the next morning.

That was in response to a call from a member of the public who heard a splash from the Borough Hall side of the river at about 7.15pm and believed it was a person falling or jumping in the water. However, no trace of any one could be found.

A week later, having seen a newspaper report about the river search, another witness contacted police to say that he was in the area of Victoria Road on the same evening at about 9pm, when he was approached by a man who was carrying wet clothes.

The man with the wet clothes asked the witness for a cigarette, and explained he had fallen in the water and lost his rucksack along with a picture of his daughter in the process.  He seemed to have come from the direction of the river.

He’s described as a white man, aged in his 30s, about 5ft 10in to 5ft 11in tall, with light brown hair, just above collar length and a full beard. Although he was carrying wet clothes, he was wearing dry clothes including black nylon calf length track suit style trousers with a stripe down the side with black ‘croc’ style shoes.

He walked off in the direction of St Leonards Court and seemed familiar with the area.

“We have been trying to trace the man with the wet clothes but have not yet been able to find him,” said Sgt Gavin Conder of the Missing Person Unit. “We know that Felix’s phone was last active at 7pm on Friday November 30, and that it was in Bedford at that time. We also have a report of someone falling in the water at about the same time and also the report of a man with wet clothes about two hours later.

“These three things may not be linked in any way, but we would like to trace the man with the wet clothes to see if he can clarify any of the information we already have. If anyone knows who he is, please let us know so we can contact him.”

Officers are still awaiting the results of DNA and other tests which would confirm that the body found in the river on New Year’s Day is that of Felix Yorke.

In addition, the Missing Persons Unit are still appealing for anyone who knew why Felix was in the Bedford area on that night to come forward.

The Missing Persons Unit can be contacted direct on 01234 275317, or direct text to the force control room on 07786 200011.

4 Jan 2013 - Man Found in Bedford River Is Named