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article imageBody found in Loire 'probably' missing French techno fan: source

By Clarisse LUCAS avec Katell PRIGENT à Paris (AFP)     Jul 29, 2019 in World

A body found in the River Loire is "very probably" that of a young techno fan who went missing last month at an island rave in western France that ended in a controversial police raid, a source close to the case told AFP Monday.

The corpse was found not far from where 24-year-old Steve Maia Canico was last spotted at the all-night event on June 21-22 in the city of Nantes, which saw officers disperse revellers with teargas and allegedly force some into the river.

"The body is in a state of advanced decomposition and an autopsy will be performed as quickly as possible," the prosecutor in Nantes, Pierre Sennes, told AFP, adding that forensics would confirm the identity.

The source on the case said the autopsy would take place on Tuesday.

Footage shared on social media showed scenes of chaos as police carrying batons moved in on the revellers by the river.

Local authorities said 14 people were subsequently rescued from the water after the clashes, with Canico's friends fearing he was swept away.

Hundreds of protesters formed a human chain along the Loire observing a minute of silence for Steve ...
Hundreds of protesters formed a human chain along the Loire observing a minute of silence for Steve Maia Canico
Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS, AFP

Since his disappearance, posters have been put up around Nantes demanding "Where is Steve?".

On July 20, hundreds of protesters formed a human chain along the Loire observing a minute of silence for the missing man.

France's National Police Inspectorate -- which oversees the work of the police -- has launched an investigation into the actions of the police in Nantes.

There were also questions over why local authorities had allowed the event to go ahead at an insecure riverside venue without a barrier.

French police have come under fire for their heavy-handed techniques, including at a recent peaceful climate rally in Paris and at nationwide weekly protests by anti-government "yellow vest" demonstrators.

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