Police have confirmed a body found on the banks of the Ashley River on Saturday is Emma Beattie, a 20-year-old missing from Canterbury.

Beattie disappeared more than four months ago from her Fernside home.

Police found a body on the river bank during a search and rescue training exercise.

The river had been extensively searched in December after Beattie disappeared.

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Police said the training exercise, which involved up to 100 people from Canterbury Land Search and Rescue, police search and rescue and the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Group, focused on the area where Beattie went missing.

Beattie's family has asked for privacy.

Her death had been referred to the coroner.