Police have said they believe the body discovered in a River Adur drainage ditch, just off the A283 Steyning by-pass, is that of Michael Mauger.
The body was discovered on Sunday October 4 by a member of the public.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “It is almost certain that the body is that of Michael Mauger who disappeared from Bramber in July, and was the subject of publicity and intensive searches at that time.
“A postmortem has taken place but further tests are needed in order to help establish cause of death, and identity. An inquest has not yet been opened.
“The death is still not being treated as suspicious.”
The spokesman added Mr Mauger’s family have been made aware of the current position.
He was reported missing on July 1. A man fitting his description was seen at 6am in Bostal Road, Steyning, on July 2.
Following the discovery of a blue Tesco bag at Upper Beeding, thought to belong to Mr Mauger, a full scale search of the area took place involving nearly 30 members of Sussex Search and Rescue (SusSAR) along with two teams of lowland rescue dogs and police and West Sussex Fire and Rescue officers.
The riverbanks and waterways in the area were searched by specialist officers over several days. Mr Mauger was not found at this time.
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