Scotland Yard confirmed today that the body found floating near Greenwich Pier on Friday was that of Gianni Sonvico, the 23-year-old barrister who has been missing for the past two weeks.
Sonvico is believed to have fallen into the Thames near Tower Hill, after attending a function at Middle Temple on the night of October 25th. CCTV footage showed Sonvico in Tower Hill at around 10:15pm that evening.
The news ends a two-week appeal from Sonvico’s family and friends on Facebook, where they created a group in the hope of finding him. During this time, almost 2,000 people had joined the group.
Sonvico’s mother, a 51-year-old care worker called Karen Chandler said to the Evening Standard: “We are devastated, as are his friends. He was absolutely passionate about justice and equality in law.”
His sister, 22-year-old Maya, said: “There are so many people who are talking about the such fun memories they have and what a great person he was. I’m completely shattered by his loss.”
Sonvico, who was born and raised in Pembrookshire on the southwest coast of Wales, studied law at London’s Queen Mary’s University and then went on to Middle Temple where he qualified as a barrister. He was working as a part-time waiter for Espirit, to fund his dream of becoming a criminal defence lawyer.
According to the Facebook page, he was an avid Arsenal supporter and lived near Emirates’ stadium in Islington. The page said, “For Gianni to miss an Arsenal match, is like him missing Christmas.”
The last message Sonvico wrote on Twitter was on the day he disappeared and read: “About to head into Middle Temple for the first time since Call. I definitely feel far more of a member than I did as student.”
Met police are still waiting on the results of the post-mortem, but foul play is not believed to be involved.