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A picture taken on July 29, 2019 in Nantes, shows a mural depicting a portrait of Steve among scenes of police violence, more than a month after a 24-year-old man disappeared after falling in the river following a police intervention. Image Credit: AFP

Nantes, France: French investigators have confirmed the identity of a 24-year-old man whose body was found in a river more than a month after a controversial intervention by riot police at a music festival, a legal source told AFP on Tuesday.

Steve Canico went missing on the night of June 21-22 after officers moved in to disperse techno music fans in the western city of Nantes, who were attending a free concert as part of France's national music celebration day.

More than a dozen concertgoers fell into the nearby Loire river during the ensuing clashes, prompting accusations of excessive force by police trying to shut the party down.

An autopsy carried out Tuesday morning on the badly decomposed corpse that was found not far from the concert site on Monday confirmed it was Canico, the source said.

Prosecutors said that they had opened an investigation for manslaughter, and the police have already opened their own internal inquiry into the raid, with the results expected this week.

Footage posted on social media showed scenes of chaos as officers carrying batons and firing tear gas moved in on the revellers by the river.

Local authorities said 14 people were pulled from the water after the clashes.

Canico's friends, who said he did not know how to swim, feared he had been swept away in the confusion.

His disappearance drew fierce criticism over the tactics used by police, already under fire for heavy-handed interventions during the weekly "yellow vest" anti-government protests that erupted last November.

Posters asking "Where is Steve?" soon appeared around Nantes, and on July 20, hundreds of protesters formed a human chain along the Loire to observe a minute's silence for the missing man.

Local authorities have also been criticised for allowing the event to go ahead at a riverside venue without sufficient barriers.