Police find the body of Ely man Stephen Ridley, 59, who had been missing since Monday

Steve Ridley whose body was discovered today at Roswell Pits. He had been missing from his Ely home

Steve Ridley whose body was discovered today at Roswell Pits. He had been missing from his Ely home since Monday. Picture; FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Police found the body today (Saturday) of 59-year-old Stephen Ridley who went missing on Monday.

News of the discovery was given late this afternoon by Cambridgeshire police who had mounted a massive search to find him.

A police spokesman said: “Some sad news to share. We’ve found the body of a man in our search for missing Stephen Ridley.”

The body was discovered in the water at Roswell Pits, Ely. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

“Stephen’s family have been informed and officers are working with the coroner regarding the incident.

Stephen, 59, went missing from his home in Ely on Monday.

His wife Denise later released a statement through social media.

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“This is something I never thought in my life that I would have to write,” she said.

“Unfortunately, this afternoon Stephen’s body was found in Roswell Pits. We kindly ask at this time that you respect our family’s privacy but we thank everyone for their kindness and support through this awful time.

“The past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. We would also like to make a special thank you to Cambridgeshire, and specifically Ely, police for their amazing help and compassion in dealing with this difficult situation and our family.

“CAMSAR, Cambridge Search and Rescue, also deserve all of our thanks for all of their help during this past week and finally allowing us to have closure.”

She added: “Please remember all the good times that you have had with Stephen in the past, we have had so many messages from you all telling us about all the happy times that you have had with him and it is so heart-warming.”

The statement was signed with love from Denise, Hannah, Lily, Minnie and also from Elaine, Martin, Malcolm and their families.

Earlier this week Denise said that Stephen had recently retired from his job at a recruitment agency - prior to which he had got his PhD, studying English writer and philosopher Constance Naden.

She told the Daily Mail: ‘He had just recently taken early retirement, and I think he was struggling to find his place a bit.

“He had all sorts of projects planned - he was trying to set up a copywriting business, and he was also going to write a book about his PhD.

“But then coronavirus just hit at the wrong time.”

A massive hunt across East Cambridgeshire has been taking place all week.

Mr Ridley was last seen at the Hereward pub in Ely at around 3pm on July 13 and later took a selfie outside RBK at around 2pm that was sent to his family.

His daughter, Hannah, had earlier revealed that “the last text we had from him was that he was talking to some fishermen”.