GWENT Police say the man's body recovered from the River Usk in Caerleon yesterday is believed to be Newport dad and South Wales Argus worker Ben Caplan.

A spokesman for Gwent Police said formal identification had yet to take place, but Mr Caplan's family had been informed and are being supported by officers.

The 30-year-old was reported missing to police on Sunday December 8th.

The spokesman added: "Our condolences remain with Ben's family."

On December 8, Mr Caplan was reported missing by his wife Danielle after he failed to come home from a night out celebrating his 30th birthday with friends.

Mr Caplan, who worked in circulation at the South Wales Argus, lived in Bond Street, Newport, with his wife, seven-month old son Jude and five-year-old stepson Evan.

The last confirmed sighting of Mr Caplan was outside Bolero’s Bar in Caerleon on Saturday December 7 at 11pm.

Mrs Caplan said she texted him at about 11.20pm and got a jumbled bunch of letters back so thought he was just drunk. After that she tried ringing but there was no answer and his phone seemed to be switched off.

The search attracted huge support from the Newport community and further afield.

Mr Caplan’s picture was posted and shared hundreds of times on social network sites, with a Facebook appeal page getting more than 3,000 likes.

Police helicopters and a team from the Severn Area Rescue Association continued to scour the River Usk before a number of sightings led the search to Abergavenny, Cwmbran and Crickhowell. Residents and businesses joined a huge search effort.

Posters were downloaded from the South Wales Argus website and appeared all over Gwent, on Newport Transport buses, in the Civic Centre and at Rodney Parade. Posters were spotted as far away as Strensham service station in Worcestershire.

In the weeks that followed a number of sightings were reported, but none verified, as police continued to examine hours of CCTV footage. Volunteer search parties went out to Crickhowell and walked the cycle route from Caerleon to Newport on numerous occasions.

A Gwent Police spokesman added yesterday: “Mr Caplan’s family have been informed and are being supported at this time. Our condolences remain with them.”