RESCUERS drafted in to trace a missing Nepalese student have recovered a body from a shallow loch after a major search operation.
Specialist teams were scrambled to comb the city’s Holyrood Park in a bid to find Sanjay Dhital, 24, who vanished on Boxing Day.
Today, police confirmed a body had been retrieved from St Margaret’s Loch, a short walk from the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Investigations are continuing to identify the remains. Volunteers from the Borders Search and Rescue Unit and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue had joined police in a sweep of “hard to reach areas” around Arthur’s Seat on Sunday.
They carried out rope-access searches of higher ground before concentrating on the three lochs situated within the Royal Park.
In a statement, a police spokesman thanked rescue teams for their efforts.
“Lothian and Borders Police searching for missing man Sanjay Dhital have recovered the body of a male from St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park, while assisted by the Borders Underwater Search Team. Inquiries are ongoing to identity the male and the family of Sanjay Dhital will be fully updated with the progress of this investigation.
“We would also like to thank Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and Borders Search and Rescue Team for their continued support.”
The family of Mr Dhital went public with concerns over his safety after the Edinburgh College student failed to contact them for several days.
The search for Mr Dhital widened to Arthur’s Seat after door-to-door enquiries around Leith Walk drew a blank.
Spearheading the investigation, Inspector Kevin McLean, previously warned that the probe would be extended to Arthur’s Seat “as there is a possibility Sanjay may have come to some harm”. The final year student, who worked part-time at Saigon Saigon restaurant in South St Andrew Street, was said to regularly contact his family in Katmandu, Nepal.
His brother Sailesh previously told how the family were “so proud” of the hard work Mr Dhital put into his studies and how unusual it was for him to miss classes.
He spoke of the family’s worry and described his brother’s disappearance as “extremely out of character.
Sailesh took to the Evening News’ Facebook page earlier this month to urge readers to come forward with information to assist the police investigation.