Body of man found in Prague river in search for missing Scot Joop Sparkes

A body has been found in the search for Joop Sparkes
A body has been found in the search for Joop Sparkes -Credit:Family supplied

A man's body has been found in a river in Prague during the search for missing Scots tourist Joop Sparkes.

The 29-year-old construction worker, from Galashiels, vanished after jumping from a party boat into the Vltava River between 1am and 2am on Sunday, April 27.

Local police confirmed a body had been recovered from the water at around 7pm on Sunday night, May 5, in the area where Joop was last seen.

His heartbroken sister Jodie Wilson told the Record the family felt "let down" by local police after reading about a body being found on a news website.

She said: "We found out about a body being pulled from the river in a news article that my cousin's friend sent.

"We were calling detectives last night but they couldn't speak English.

"We also tried the embassy but they had no information.

"We went down to the police station after midnight and our Czech translator spoke to the officers on the phone. They then told us a body had been recovered.

"We feel let down by police. We feel there has been no urgency.

"We just feel numb. I've not slept a wink. We are sitting waiting for news about the identity."

Local press in Prague have reported that a witness saw the body near the Štefánik bridge.

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

It is understood he had been partying with pals when he jumped in the water to go for a swim. His friends later reported him missing to the authorities when he didn't arrive back to shore.

Joop Sparkes
Missing Joop Sparkes and his girlfriend Charlie Maben. (Supplied)

We told how Joop's family had also drafted in private investigators to aid the search after scouring the streets of Prague for almost one week.

Jodie continued: "We followed the route of the boat party Joop had been on. We believe police had been searching the wrong part of the river as the boat was further downstream when Joop jumped.

"We contacted them yesterday to pass on this information. The body that has been found was in this area.

"It has been extremely frustrating. We are all emotionally and physically drained."

A Prague police spokesperson said "A witness reported that a human body was floating in the Vltava. Police patrols went to the scene, then the man's body was pulled out of the water.

"At the moment, we cannot confirm whether this is a missing foreigner who disappeared last weekend."

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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