Body of Austin Bice, missing US college student, found in Madrid river (VIDEO)


An outdoor eatery in Madrid, Spain. Police officials said Tuesday, March 8, that they had found Austin Bice's body in the Manzanares River, a Madrid waterway near the nightclub where he was last seen a week earlier. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)


Jasper Juinen

Spanish police have found the body of Austin Bice, a San Diego State University college student, in the Manzanares River near the Madrid nightclub where the was last seen on Feb. 26, according to reports.

National Police officials were quoted as saying the cause of Bice's death had not been determined, but that so far there were no signs of foul play.

Bice, 22, from Carlsbad, Calif., was last seen leaving the vicinity of Sala La Riviera nightclub alone in the Spanish capital. According to the BBC he had been denied access by a doorman. He had reportedly been drinking with friends at an apartment before going out.

But according to an ABC News report, friends and family strongly denied that claim.

"I've known him for over a decade and I've never seen him drunk and I've never once seen him intoxicated to the point where he wasn't able to make a clear judgment or have a clear head," one said.

Bice posted on his blog the night he disappeared that he planned to attend a concert.

A friend, Maria Garcia, told the Daily Mail: "He had left his credit cards and passport in his room, and had not taken a winter coat" despite it being a cold night.

Friends of Bice put up posters of the student around Madrid, which read "Missing. Austin Taylor Bice. U.S. citizen, 22, 1.95 meters tall and 100 kilograms" (6 feet, 5 inches and 220 pounds), according to CNN.

His father, Larry Bice, reportedly flew out to help in the search for Bice, a fluent Spanish speaker who was studying international business at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Larry Bice told CNN that he had hired private investigators from the the Halo Corp. in California to help in the search. Halo's website says it is a San Diego-based company "founded by former special operations and intelligence personnel."

"They are helpers," the elder Bice told CNN. "I don't want to give the idea that they are coming here running and gunning because they are not. They are coming to work with the police and do whatever they can."

The Manzanares river is a shallow, slow-moving waterway in western Madrid. Dozens of Bice's friends and others responding to internet notifications had conducted a search on Saturday along the banks of the Manzanares. The river was reportedly partly drained and Bice's body recovered.