Pictured: Man, 22, found drowned while wearing handcuffs after escaping arrest
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 a man from Southampton, who has been named as Reece Hillier, 22.
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 and the death is not being treated as suspicious.
He ran away from police after being handcuffed when he was detained on January 12.
Paying tribute to him girlfriend Brittany Bellows said: ‘Words cannot even describe how I’ve been feeling today, not only did I lose my boyfriend but my best friend.
‘We had our ups and downs like every couple does but I’ve never loved someone as much as I did you! From the moment we got together we was stuck at the hip.
‘I knew something was wrong when you didn’t get in contact with any of us.
‘Your finally reunited with your dad,watching over all of us. Cannot believe you’ve been taken away from me so soon, all the things we planned we will no longer be able to see through.
‘A part of you will always be with me and I know you will always be by my side. No one thought we would stay together but we proved them wrong!we clicked and were there for each other,through our good and bad times.
‘Thinking about all your family and friends today. We love you so much! Rest in peace baby.’
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the watchdog had received a referral from the force following the discovery of the body.
‘Following an assessment it was decided that Hampshire Constabulary should conduct a local investigation,’ the IOPC added.
Hampshire Police said an internal review is under way and a file is being prepared for the coroner.
More: Crime news
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.
‘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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