A BODY found in the River Great Ouse was yesterday (Tuesday) identified as missing 18-year-old Jack Oxlee.
Almost five weeks after the St Neots teenager was last seen, a body was found in the river near St Neots Rowing Club, on Saturday afternoon.
Former Huntingdonshire Regional College student Jack was last seen leaving Paines Mill Foyer, in Phoenix Square, at 8pm on February 11.
A man matching his description was seen jumping off St Neots Town Bridge about 30 minutes later.
South and West Cambridgeshire coroner David Morris yesterday formally opened and adjourned an inquest to a date to be fixed.
A post-mortem examination showed Jack had drowned.
Jack’s friends paid tribute to him, leaving dozens of messages on Facebook and Twitter – prompting a response from his mother, Racheal, who said: “Thank you to each and every one of you for your heartfelt messages, comments and support for Jack.
“We are overwhelmed at all the love out there for Jack. He would be chuffed to bits.”
One of his close friends described him as a “happy chappy”.
Connie Cracknell, 19, of Houghton, told The Hunts Post she met Jack at St Peter’s School, Huntingdon.
She said: “In 2008, our teacher was Miss Bowater and she always threatened Jack if he didn’t do his work she would ring his mum and he would always say ‘no you cant do that, that’s not fair’ but of course she did and could!
“I used to sit next to Jack in history and we got moved away from each other cause he would make me laugh and cause we always drew pictures in each other books of rude things!
“On other days Jack would just sit in the lesson and finish off the art he had started at home and they were all amazing. From the lessons we became friends and my friend Alice Henson and I became friends with all Jack’s friends and me and Alice spent our break times and lunch times with the group and then started hanging out with them after school and then after school had finished in 2010 we would gang out through the whole summer, Alice and my self were best friends and i was always round hers so we could walk to meet everyone.
“Jack would always moan that we were to far away from him to walk even though the ramps in Stukeley is not far from his house, so he got a red bike, it was like his best friend he always had it whenever we went, the time we all met up and Jack would always be the last person out even though he had a bike this was due to all the gaming he did. He lived off Monster energy drinks for a couple of days to help him stay up and play video games!
“The time we went and sat on the river field playing football. I remember this one time they were all playing a football game and Ross Jones accidentally kicked the ball at Jack and hit him in his privates, he made this scream sound like a cat being kicked then fell to the floor, everyone in the group just wet themselves.
“He was always a happy chappy unless he had not eaten, I spent most of the time making him run to Sainsbury’s and getting me a drink and food just so he could get himself something. I didn’t care as Jack was too nice to say no to. “Jack was a moaner he never wanted to do something that involved a lot of walking, or biking in his case. He brightened my days up and was such a caring guy - he would always ask if you were okay and make sure he can make you smile if you were down.
“Alex Beattie and Jack were best friends and they would always be together. Alice and I have always loved Jack he would just saying something silly which would make us laugh so much tears were streaming down our faces, spending my summer days with the whole were the best times of my life and will never be the same without Jack there as he was just too funny with his little girly laugh. Jack I hope you meet Kurt Cobain cause you never stopped talking about him, it was a bromance. Jack oxlee gone but not forgotten.”
Jack’s mother Racheal (corr) Griffin thanked people on Facebook for their support.
• Leave a tribute by visiting Jack’s tribute page by following the link on the right had side of the page.