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Handcuffed body of young dad who fled from police found in river after 2 months

Mirror logo Mirror 20/03/2019 Henry Vaughan
a man smiling for the camera: WARNING COLLECT IMAGE TAKEN FROM FACEBOOK

NAME: Reece Hillier, who reportedly was found dead in a river wearing handcuffs after running away from police

LINK: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=215968995863720&set=a.112599576200663&type=3&theater

ID - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6830795/Handcuffed-man-fled-police-two-months-ago-river.html

copyright unknown © Facebook WARNING COLLECT IMAGE TAKEN FROM FACEBOOK NAME: Reece Hillier, who reportedly was found dead in a river wearing handcuffs after running away from police LINK: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=215968995863720&set=a.112599576200663&type=3&theater ID - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6830795/Handcuffed-man-fled-police-two-months-ago-river.html copyright unknown

A man's body has been found in a river still wearing police handcuffs two months after he ran away from officers.

Hampshire Police have launched an internal review over the death of 22-year-old Reece Hillier from Southampton, which is not being treated as suspicious.

Reece is thought to have become a father in 2018.

a close up of a pond: A stretch of the chalkstream river Itchen near Twyford, Hampshire © Getty Images A stretch of the chalkstream river Itchen near Twyford, Hampshire

The force said his body is believed to have been in the water for some time before it was found in the River Itchen at Woodmill on Sunday evening.

He made off from police after being handcuffed when he was detained on January 12.

A family member in her 50s, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Mail: "It’s a disgrace.  He was allowed to be there for eight weeks and they wouldn't even search for him even though his mother pleaded with them so many times. 

a statue in front of a body of water: Tributes left by a life ring near the scene © Morten Watkins/Solent News Tributes left by a life ring near the scene

"We just want answers, we want to know why this has happened. It's so upsetting, he was such a lovely boy, to be taken away so young is horrific."

It is unclear whether Mr Hillier fell in the water during his escape from the police, but officers say they are not treating his death as suspicious.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the watchdog had received a referral from the force following the discovery of the body.

a police car parked in a parking lot: An investigation has been launched by Hampshire Police © Daily Echo/Solent News An investigation has been launched by Hampshire Police

"Following an assessment, it was decided that Hampshire Constabulary should conduct a local investigation," the IOPC added.

Hampshire Police said an internal review is underway and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

A statement said: "We were called at 6.19pm on Sunday March 17 after the body of a man was located in the River Itchen at Woodmill, Southampton.

a car parked on the side of a road: The 22-year-old man found dead in the river was on the run from police © Daily Echo/Solent News The 22-year-old man found dead in the river was on the run from police

"Identification has now taken place and we can confirm that the body is of a 22-year-old man from Southampton.

"We can confirm that he was handcuffed, having been detained by police in Southampton on January 12.

"Initial inquiries suggest the body had been in the water for some time.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time."

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