FAMILY and friends of a missing man gathered at the canal in Blackburn after finding out that a body had been discovered.

David Young’s mother said they went through a rollercoaster of emotions yesterday – only to learn that the dead man was not her son.

Police last night said the man found near the Lock Mill Tavern, in Bolton Road, was 63-year-old Melvyn Ashe from Blackburn.

It is understood Mr Ashe had been walking home along the canal on Tuesday night following an evening in the town centre with his brother.

Mr Young’s mother Jacqueline Marsden, 52, who lives in Livesey Branch Road, said her family had feared the worst when a dog walker reported seeing a body in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal yesterday morning.

She said: “We are in such turmoil not knowing where David is. I thought that it must have been his body.

“We are now thinking of this other man’s family and what they are going through.”

Mr Young, a 28-year-old father of six-year-old twin boys, has not been seen since he was in Albion Street near to the canal bridge on October 17 around 10.30pm.

Police divers using sonar equipment had searched parts of the canal after witnesses said Mr Young was on the road, walking in a disorientated state.

Family and friends have also organised further searches and made appeals for information.

Mrs Marsden said: “I am an absolute mess. This has been going on for a month now.

“But it does give us a little bit of hope. If it was not him, it means he could still be alive and that is a relief for me.”

Mrs Marsden said she found out about the discovery of the body after a family friend called to let her know about police activity at the canal.

She said she called officers who confirmed they had found a body.

She then anxiously waited by her phone for news. Some of Mr Young’s friends, as well as his brother, went to the canal.

Close friend 24-year-old Zoe Parkinson, who was amongst those at the canalside, said: “I got told that a body had been found so we all went down hoping and praying it wasn’t David, which it wasn’t.

“I still believe he is out there somewhere and I just want him to get in touch.”

Mrs Marsden made a renewed appeal about her son’s whereabouts and urged anyone with any information to tell police.

She said: “I don’t have a clue where he is. Nobody knows anything, but I do believe he is alive somewhere.

“I just want any news at all. I am really hoping for him to just come home.”

“He always stays in touch with his family and friends, so this is definitely out of character.”

Mr Young was wearing a grey Jack Jones jumper, black tracksuit bottoms with a red stripe and navy blue Nike trainers, when he disappeared.

Insp David Ashcroft said: “Police received a call around 8am reporting a body in the Leeds-Liverpool canal at Blackburn, opposite the old Infirmary on Bolton Road.

“Officers are still trying to establish the circumstances around exactly what has happened. The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage and is thought to have been a tragic accident.

“We are trying to piece together his movements on Tuesday evening but at this stage believe that Mr Ashe had been out in Blackburn town centre for a drink with his brother and was walking home along the canal path.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.