AN ONLINE petition has already gathered thousands of supporters after a student’s body was found in a lake on university grounds.

The discovery was made on Tuesday morning as part of the search for Daniel Williams, who vanished in the early hours of January 31.

Formal identification was confirmed on Wednesday evening and the 19-year-old, from Sutton, was named as the deceased person.

A petition, started by Ellie Stanley, has already achieved nearly 9,000 signatures in response to safety concerns.

It reads: “We need lights around our lake.

“Taking into account the high frequency of people who walk around Reading’s Whiteknights Campus lake at all hours of the day and especially after the recent awful incident, I think we should start urging the university to realise that proper lighting around the lake walkways is a necessity.”

Thames Valley Police (TVP) released an update on Tuesday, confirming a body had been found during the extensive search for the second year Computer Science student.

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

A university spokesman said: “The acting vice-chancellor has invited the petitioners to meet him to discuss their concerns further.

“Any concerns raised will be reviewed, along with outcomes from the police investigation and will inform any appropriate action that we take.

“Speculation around the circumstances of the tragic situation on campus is disrespectful.

“We’re aware that a number of concerns have been raised with regards to safety around the lake and we will continue to support any further investigations.”

As well as improved lighting, other students – past and present – have made the case for fencing to be introduced.

Robert Van de Noort, acting vice-chancellor, said: “It is a very difficult time and support is being offered to students and staff.

“We have been in close contact with TVP during their investigation of Daniel’s disappearance and we will continue to assist them in any way we can. Daniel and his family and friends are in our thoughts.”

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, Local Policing Area Commander for Reading, said: “Our thoughts continue to remain with the family and friends of Daniel Williams as they come to terms with what has happened. Please respect their privacy at this exceptionally difficult time for them.

“I would like to thank members of the public and the media for sharing our appeal for information in relation to Daniel while he was missing.”

Visit: to view the petition.