A fundraiser in honour of student Harvey Parker, who went missing last month, has raised almost £40,000 for queer and neurodiverse youth in less than 24 hours.
On Wednesday (5 January), the Metropolitan Police announced that a body had been recovered from London’s River Thames near where Harvey Parker was last captured on CCTV, and a formal identification process is currently underway.
Addressing the tragic news, Parker’s family released a statement in which they said: “We are so very sad to report that police have recovered a body from the Thames near where our beautiful Harvey was last seen.”
They thanked all those who had helped in the search for the 20-year-old, who was last seen leaving Heaven nightclub in Charring Cross in the early hours of 17 December.
They also told those who wanted to help that a Just Giving page had been set up in Parker’s honour.
Their family said that “money raised will go to young queer support groups, neurodiverse and gender-diverse young people who’d benefit from emotional or mental health support and to help support talented musicians from under-represented communities”.
The University of York student was queer, autistic and a talented musician, with their mother telling Metro on 21 December: “The flute is Harvey’s first instrument, along with the oboe, piano and organ.”
The Just Giving page surpassed its £10,000 target in a matter of hours, and in less than a day has raised almost £40,000.
Body found in search for Harvey Parker
According to the Metropolitan Police, authorities were contacted by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at 11.51 am on Tuesday (4 January), reporting that a body had been found in Thames near Embankment.
The Met’s Marine Support Unit recovered the body, and notified police searching for Harvey Parker. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.
Detective chief inspector Lucy O’Connor, of the Central South Command Unit, said: “Sadly a body has been recovered from the Thames near where Harvey was last seen. We are providing Harvey’s family with all the available information.
“We are also asking for media to please respect the family’s privacy at this challenging and difficult time.”