Former colleagues at the Oxford college where Derek Brant worked said they were ‘desperately sad’ to hear of his death.

The 63-year-old’s body was found in a stream near St Mary and St John School, Meadow Lane, on November 30.

Yesterday, Thames Valley Police confirmed that DNA tests had established the body was that of Mr Brant, who had been missing since July.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, St Anne’s College principal Helen King described Mr Brant as a much-loved member of the maintenance team at the college where he’d worked since 2006.

She said: “The community of St Anne's College sends deepest condolences to Derek Brant's family and friends. Derek was a long standing and valued member of our staff. We have been hoping and praying to have him back safe and well, and so we are desperately sad to hear that his death has been confirmed.

“In 2016 Derek's responsibilities brought him onto the main College site where he was a familiar face to fellows, students and staff as he went about his duties, keeping the College grounds clean and tidy. His work and presence had a significant impact on all of us.”

READ MORE: Body found in search for missing Derek

Ms King, a former senior officer with the Metropolitan Police, added: “His close colleagues in the maintenance team and many other members of the College have been missing him, worrying for him, and playing their part in the search for him.

“The College is now united in supporting each other and remembering with gratitude the many ways in which Derek contributed to our life at St Anne’s, through his work and being a part of our community.”

On Saturday, Supt Emma Garside of Thames Valley Police described the case as a tragic one. Mr Brant’s death was being treated as unexplained but not suspicious and a file would now be prepared for the coroner, she said.

Oxford Mail:

Derek Brant Picture: FAMILY HANDOUT/TVP

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