A body found in the River Thames three weeks ago is believed to be missing student Samaria Ayanle, police have said.

The 19-year-old was last seen at her university accommodation in central London in the early hours of 22 February – but she was not reported missing until staff alerted police on 8 March.

Detectives are treating her death as “unexplained”.

An appeal for information was launched on Tuesday but officers have now linked the case with a body found last month.

Missing person posters for Samaria Ayanle were put up around London

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called by a member of the public at 8.19am on 22 February after they reported seeing the body from the north foreshore of the river near Putney Pier.

It came just hours after Ms Ayanle was last seen near Marble Arch.

The body was recovered with no personal property on it and fingerprint tests were “negative”, police said.

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A Met spokesperson added: “Police checked recent missing persons’ reports but the body did not match the description of any other people reported missing around that time.

“The body was sent to the coroner to conduct further checks. Meanwhile, details were uploaded onto the UK Missing Person database in the hope the person might be identified.

“After Samaria was reported missing officers linked their enquiries to the 22 February discovery on Wednesday 13 March. They have viewed body-worn video from then and believe the person found is Samaria.”

The body has not been formally identified.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information about her disappearance to get in touch.

The apparent discovery of Ms Ayanle’s body last month came after police recovered the bodies of two men in the River Thames on 10 February while searching for alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi.

His body was later found on 19 February.

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