POLICE divers used specialist sonar equipment as they searched a five-mile stretch of the River Ouse in York for missing student Megan Roberts.
The dive team from the regional underwater search unit continued their efforts to find the 20-year-old for the fourth day following her disappearance last Thursday.
They have been searching a stretch of the river from Lendal Bridge, near where Megan was seen on CCTV before going missing, to Naburn five miles downstream.
Fire and rescue officers conducted a surface water search by boat, while teams are expected to conduct searches along the banks on both sides of the river this weekend.
Megan, who from Wetherby and a student at York St John University, was last seen on CCTV on the corner of Rougier Street and Lendal Bridge at around 2.20am last Thursday. She had been on a night out in the city centre with friends, but when she failed to make any contact with over the weekend, she was reported missing by her mother on Monday.
Police say “the strongest and most probable line of enquiry” is that she fell into the River Ouse while heavily affected by alcohol. Officers fear the chances of her being found alive are “increasingly remote”.
Superintendent Phil Cain said that prior to her disappearance Megan and her friends had been drinking for several hours and left Popworld night club at around 2.10am on Thursday.
He said the group, who were “heavily affected by alcohol”, were spread out as they made their way from Popworld across Lendal Bridge to a nearby McDonald’s.
Mr Cain said: “Having separated, part of the group ran down Tanner’s Moat, in front of The Maltings public house towards the river looking for the others.
“Megan through the effects of alcohol was the last in the group and bumped into some of the cycle racks as she followed others. CCTV evidence does not show Megan running back up the same street with the others to rejoin the main group.
“All members of the group concerned have been traced and spoken to at length by the police. There is nothing at this stage to indicate that any member of that group of friends or anybody else is directly responsible for Megan’s disappearance.”
Anyone with information which can help officers should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.