Police confirm discovery of Emma Beattie's body

Police have confirmed they've found the body of missing 20-year-old Canterbury woman Emma Beattie.

Search and rescue teams found her body on the banks of the Ashley River on Saturday afternoon.

"The body was discovered around 4pm while Canterbury police district was running a training exercise for search and rescue staff," says Rangiora Police Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves.

Ms Beattie disappeared last December, but a first search failed to find her.

The second search involved more than 100 people, with teams brought in from all over Canterbury from as far as Fairlie and Waipara.

Helicopters scoured the ground from the air, while crews on foot traversed through waist-deep scrub along the Ashley River.

The death has been referred to the coroner.