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Police divers begin searching Barcelona port for missing X Factor star Levi Davis

Police divers today started searching the port of Barcelona for the missing X Factor star,  Levi Davis 

The search for Levi, 25, who is feared to have drowned, is also taking place in the Llobregat Delta, one of Catalonia's most important wetland zones near the Catalan capital.

Regional police force the Mossos d'Esquadra said in a tweet confirming the search for Levi, who vanished after arriving in Barcelona from Ibiza in October: 'We continue investigating the disappearance of a man on October 29.

'We have mobilised the Maritime Police and the Aquatic Unit to search the port of Barcelona and the Llobregat Delta. The case continues to be investigated.'

The search came weeks after his mother Julie Davis revealed police told her they now believe a man spotted in difficulties in the sea by crew on a cruise liner docking in Barcelona was likely to be her son. 

There had been delays in the search for Levi due to red rape, but a spokesman for the police said Maritime Police and the Aquatic Unit are now searching the waters 

A spokesman for the force added: 'The search is being conducted by the Mossos' Maritime Police and the Aquatic Unit. It's an underwater search with the Maritime Police in the boats and the divers involved belonging to the Aquatic Unit.

'The search is taking place because of the possibility this person could have fallen into the water, from information received following his disappearance, around the time he was last seen.

'Civil Guard and Coastguards carried out an initial exhaustive search but found no sign of him.

'The possibility objects or clothes belonging to the man who disappeared were not ruled out and today in the two areas we are mentioning this new search has begun as part of the investigation.

'The objective is to find any evidence that might support the theory of a possible accidental death by drowning.

'The Llobregat Delta is in the southern part of Barcelona where the movement of the waters mean investigators think there could be something in that area.

'The search began at 10am local time but I don't have information at this stage about how long it will last. We are talking about an underwater search. Court of Investigation Number Seven which is the court overseeing this investigation is aware of today's search.'

Police were not able to say how long the operation would last, although local reports say police are expected to conduct searches over several days.

Spanish officials indicated late last month around the sixth-month anniversary of Levi's disappearance no date had yet been scheduled for the port and sea searches.

They revealed an investigating judge probing the mystery is still waiting for a report from coastguards before deciding when - and if - to authorise any new proceedings including the searches the rugby player and former X-Factor star's family were pushing for.

Levi's mum Julie Davis revealed last month she had been told by Catalan police they now believed a man spotted in difficulties in the sea by crew on a cruise liner docking in Barcelona hours after he was filmed leaving an Irish pub in the city was likely to be her son.

CCTV footage showed Levi, 24 when he vanished, leaving the Old Irish Pub near Barcelona's La Rambla around 10pm on October 29 after taking a boat from Ibiza with just 40 euros (£35) and no change of clothes.

Detectives have told Levi's family they have now discovered his phone signal was last picked up in the early hours of October 30 by a telephone mast at the far end of the port closest to the sea entrance.

It had previously been thought his mobile phone, which hasn't been used since his disappearance, was last pinged close to the city's main Sants railway station.

Julie said the regional Mossos d'Esquadra police had also told her they believed her son was likely to be the man four members of cruise liner MSC Bellissima, which docked in Barcelona around the same time, had seen in the sea wearing the same light-coloured top as Levi and shouting for help in English.

A lifebuoy was thrown to him and coastguards in Barcelona mobilised their helicopter called Helimer 203 and a vessel called Salvamar Mintaka. A boat operated by firefighters was also sent to the scene along with police and Red Cross vessels.

The search operation is said to have lasted an entire day but was called off after it was confirmed no-one was missing from the cruise liner and police confirmed no-one had been reported missing in port waters or in the sea off Barcelona.

Police divers begin searching Barcelona port for missing X Factor star Levi Davis weeks after it was revealed man was spotted in the sea

Levi's disappearance had not been reported to police at the time and his passport was not found near a cargo shipment at the port until days later.
Catalan police launched a search off their own backs on November 8 before receiving an official missing persons' report from an Ibiza-based friend of Levi's on November 12.

Police investigators admitted they were treating his disappearance as 'disturbing' in February as they confirmed the case had been placed in the hands of a specialist crime unit which is working with the investigating judge.

A spokesman for the Mossos d'Esquadra confirmed at the time there had been a significant change in the way the probe was now being conducted as he offered a more detailed insight into why the shift had taken place.

He said: 'This case was initially investigated by a group of officers at the police station the disappearance was first reported to in Barcelona.

'That's the general procedure in cases where there are no obvious or very evident signs a disappearance is linked to a crime.

'Now this case is being led by a specialist investigative unit based in Barcelona.

'With the information at our disposal, it doesn't appear that this person has gone missing voluntarily and doesn't want to be found.

'We're dealing with an adult male whose disappearance doesn't have a logical explanation and which we're therefore treating as disturbing.

'It doesn't necessarily mean he's been the victim of a crime and it's important to clarify that the group that's now investigating this person's disappearance is not a murder squad or homicide unit because that would mean there is a probability or certainty he is dead.

'What it is is a unit which has been tasked with this case following the initial investigation by officers at the station where this person was reported missing.

'It's a higher level of investigation now and a more specialist investigation.'

The police revelation followed claims Levi was £100,000 in debt to Somali criminals and Levi said he had been blackmailed over a sex tape and his life was in danger in a chilling last video he recorded shortly before vanishing.

Levi played Premiership rugby union for Bath between 2017 and 2020, when he joined Ealing Trailfinders. A year later he signed for Worthing Raiders.

The rugby player-turned-reality star performed on X Factor: Celebrity in 2019 with fellow rugby players Ben Foden and Thom Evans as part of the group Try Star. In 2020 he appeared on E4 dating series Celebs Go Virtual Dating and became the first rugby union player to come out as bisexual.

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