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FORT LUPTON, Colo. — The body of a man found in a car in a canal near Hudson has been identified as missing man Brian Erives, the Fort Lupton Police Department said Thursday.

Erives, 23, disappeared about 4 a.m. on Christmas after leaving a party at a friend’s house. Erives was driving his green Volkswagen Jetta.

A bicyclist riding along Highway 52 called dispatch on Wednesday to report a vehicle overturned down an embankment between Weld County Roads 41 and 43, police said.

Troopers with the Colorado State Patrol found a green Jetta upside down underwater, with a man’s body inside.

An autopsy was performed Thursday morning and the Weld County Coroner’s Office positively identified the body as Erives.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Erives family,” Fort Lupton police Chief Ken Poncelow said in a statement. “It’s a tragic end for a young man who was a member of our close-knit community.

“We appreciate all of the assistance the public provided in the effort to locate Brian. Our officers have been collecting and following up on leads for weeks as well as working with the family to locate him. It was truly a community effort.”

Because the vehicle was found along a state highway, the Colorado State Patrol is investigating the accident.

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