Police believe a body found near Lake Ontario in Whitby is that of missing man Jeffrey Boucher.

A local resident walking along the Lake Ontario waterfront in Whitby discovered a body at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Durham Regional Police say.

“At this point based on our investigation, we believe with a fairly high degree of certainty that the male is Jeffrey Boucher, our missing runner from Whitby,” Det. Jeff Kennedy said at a news conference Saturday.  

The body was found near Thickson Road South and Crystal Beach Boulevard.

A post-mortem examination has been scheduled to confirm the identity and cause of death.

“There’s nothing suspicious at this point about the discovery of Mr. Boucher, or at least who we believe to be Mr. Boucher,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said he met with Boucher’s family, who wanted to thank the media and members of the public for their assistance in the case.   

Boucher, 52, has been missing since early January, when he is believed to have gone for a routine early-morning jog from which he never returned home.

Despite extensive ground, water and aerial searches, few clues were found until March 11, when a passerby found a first shoe belonging to Boucher.

After that shoe was discovered, Boucher’s wife Kristen said “it did strike me as being exactly the way he laced them, and the same type of shoe we had talked about liking, and the same colour that he’d pick.”

A second shoe was found at 11 a.m. Saturday, in the same area the first shoe turned up.  

Boucher taught geography at Bowmanville High School for 27 years.