Body found in Prague river confirmed as missing tourist Joop Sparkes as family 'absolutely heartbroken'

The body of a man found in a river in Prague has been identified as missing Scot Joop Sparkes.

His family confirmed the tragic news on Monday morning ending a week-long search for the 29-year-old.

Joop, a construction worker from Galashiels, had vanished after jumping from a party boat into the Vltava River between 1am and 2am on Sunday, April 27. It is understood he had been partying with pals when he jumped in the water to go for a swim.

He was reported missing after failing to resurface.

Local police recovered a man's body from the water in the area where Joop was last seen on Sunday, May 5. The body has been formally identified as the missing tourist.

His devastated sister Jodie Wilson said: "The body recovered from the water last night has been confirmed as Joop.

"We are all absolutely heartbroken and this wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for but like we promised we are bringing our boy home.

"We love you to the moon and back Joopster and you have left the biggest hole in our hearts ever. Rest easy baby bro."

His tearful girlfriend Charley vowed to "never forget" him in a heartbreaking tribute.

She said: "The best 6 and a half years of my life! I know we had a rocky path but we eventually got there in the end.

"We always came back to each other because we couldn’t cope without one another. We had our whole life planned ahead of us. I will cherish our memories forever.

"You’ve walked that extra mile Joop. I love and miss you so much!! I will never ever forget you. My boy."

Jodie, their aunt Gillian and Joop's girlfriend Charley Maben had flown out to Prague to join the search efforts shortly after his disappearance.

Last week Joop's family reached out to private investigators to aid the search after scouring the streets of Prague for almost one week.

An FCDO spokesperson said: "We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Czech Republic and are in contact with the local authorities."

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