A body found in the River Mersey in Liverpool is believed to be that of a Bradford University student who went missing six weeks ago.

Aamir Qudeer, 21, a first-year engineering student, was last seen in Bradford on February 26, before travelling by train to Leeds and then vanishing in Liverpool.

The body is yet to be formally identified, but Mr Qudeer’s family have been informed, and messages of condolence have been left on social media sites set up to help find him.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Neil Benstead, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We can confirm that we were alerted by Merseyside Police to the discovery of a man’s body, which was found in the river in south Liverpool on the morning of Sunday, April 13.

“The body was recovered by emergency services, following a call from a member of the public at about 9am.

“Formal identification has not yet taken place.”

Mr Qudeer, known to his university friends as Eric, was last seen on CCTV in Mulgrave Street in Liverpool at 6.55pm on February 26 , after he walked through the city from Lime Street station.

Police later said his phone had been switched off since 10.30pm that day, and confirmed that he had not accessed his bank account since going missing.

His family have made repeated pleas for information on his whereabouts, including public appeals in Bradford and Leeds, with the latest appeal made in Liverpool on Saturday, the day before the body was found.

His mother, Zatoon Qudeer, made an emotional plea for the return of her son at a press conference in Bradford on March 26, saying he had spent the weekend prior to his disappearance with his family in the Moortown area of Leeds, and had seemed to just be following his “normal” routine.

Police suggested Mr Qudeer, who lived in student flats at Forster Hall in Great Horton Road, might have been struggling with university work prior to going missing, but still labelled his behaviour as “totally out of character”.

Yesterday, various messages left on social media paying tribute to him.

One message, posted on the ‘Find Aamir Qudeer’ Twitter page read: “To him we belong and to him we shall return. Forever in our hearts.”

Tributes paid on the ‘Missing Aamir Qudeer’ Facebook page included: “May Allah bless his soul and give him highest place in jannah and sabre to his family. Ameen,” while another read: “Rest in peace Aamir. Gone but not forgotten. May Allah grant you the highest ranks of jannat.”

A spokesman for Bradford University last night said it did not want to comment at this time.

Mr Qudeer’s family were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Formal identification of the body was expected later today.