UNIVERSITY staff and students have spoken of their sadness following the discovery of a body in the search for student Daniel Williams.

Formal identification is yet to take place after a body was found in a lake on the Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading.

The 19-year-old Computer Science student vanished in the early hours of January 31.

Thames Valley Police released an update on Tuesday, confirming a body had been found.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, acting vice-chancellor, said: "I was saddened to learn that a body was found on our Whiteknights campus by police officers searching for Daniel Williams.

"It is a very difficult time and support is being offered to students and staff.

“We have been in close contact with Thames Valley Police during their investigation of Daniel’s disappearance and we will continue to assist them in any way we can.

"I would like to express thanks on behalf of the whole university to the police, all those who helped with the search and the thousands of people who shared the appeal for information.

“Daniel and his family and friends are in our thoughts.”

Daniel was reported missing after he failed to return to his student accommodation following a night out in a student union bar on the same campus.

His family have been notified of the discovery and are receiving support.

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, local policing area commander for Reading, said: "Tragically, officers searching for Daniel have located a body.

"While the identity of the person who died is yet to be established, we have informed Daniel's family and are providing support to them.

"Please could I make an appeal to respect the privacy of Daniel's family at what must be a deeply difficult time for them."

A major search, aided by search and rescue volunteers and the National Police Air Service, was launched to find Daniel, who was in his second year of studies.

The death is being treated as unexplained and is not believed to be suspicious.