The body of a missing Fredericton man has been recovered from the St. John River in Wickham, say RCMP.

John Arthur Crabbe, 61, who lived at Fredericton's emergency shelter, had been missing since December.

His body was discovered about 100 kilometres away by a Sussex resident shortly after noon on Monday, Cpl. Graham Milner stated in a news release.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday.

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John Crabbe went missing from Fredericton on Dec. 17, 2012. (CBC)

No foul play is suspected, Milner said.

The cause of death has not been released.

Crabbe had been last seen leaving the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. It's unclear why he was there.

His family reported him missing soon after.

At first, police thought Crabbe could have been visiting friends for the Christmas holidays.

Friends feared worst

But his friends at the Fredericton soup kitchen had feared the worst after he had been missing for nearly three weeks.

"Nobody can find him. It's too cold to survive in this weather and no one knows where he is," Frank Fawley had told CBC News.

"I hate to say it, but if I mean, if there's a Lord above, I hope he took him home because he would have froze to death in that weather."

Another friend, Bert Sacobie, agreed. "What we think, he might be laying out in a park, frozen, I bet you," he had said.

Sacobie described Crabbe as a "quiet guy."

"He will give you anything he has," he had said.

RCMP had interviewed Crabbe's friends and family, trying to determine where he might have gone, visited places he was known to frequent, and had asked for the public's help in the case.

Officers had also used police dogs to search for Crabbe in O'Dell Park, where he often went to drink with friends.

York Sunbury Search and Rescue volunteers had also searched the park to no avail.