Missing Bath student's family speaks of 'pain' of loss

Henry Burke Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Henry Burke was last seen alive at about midnight on Thursday

The family of a student whose body is believed to have been recovered from a river has said the "pain of his parting cannot be expressed".

Henry Burke, 19, was last seen leaving the Zero Zero nightclub in Bath, Somerset, at midnight on Thursday.

A body was later found in the River Avon on Saturday. Formal identification is expected to take place on Tuesday.

Avon and Somerset Police said they were treating the death as "unexplained".

Mr Burke had been studying geography at Bath Spa University.

'Hopes and dreams'

His family said: "He was taking his first steps on his own, living away from home, starting to take responsibility for his own life.

"He was beginning to put in place the foundations of the hopes and dreams he had for the future. So tragically cut short."

They added that his "happiness with his girlfriend Emma knew no bounds".

Mr Burke's girlfriend, Em Comley, earlier said he had been texting her "throughout the night" on Thursday but then the messages suddenly stopped just after midnight.

"Henry was a star that burned so bright in our lives. His passing has yet to sink in however, the pain of his parting cannot be expressed," the statement from his family added.

In recent years, several people have died in the River Avon, including Christopher Taylor, 21, and students Sammuel Amin, 18, and James Bubear, 19.

There have been a number of calls for improved safety measures.

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