A body was found in Arbroath on Friday during the search for missing 21-year-old man Bailey Mearns.
Police said Bailey’s family had been informed of the discovery.
A family friend said: “If this proves to be true, we are obviously shocked and saddened.
“We obviously need to await further news and give the family privacy at this time.
“Things are very raw just now.”
Former Arbroath High pupil Bailey, also known as Bailey Menmuir, was last seen at his home in Strathairlie Avenue in the town at around 7am on Monday.
The body was discovered on Friday afternoon following a morning of intense activity in Arbroath.
The town’s RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched at 9.30am, along with a Police Scotland helicopter and UK Coastguard teams, to conduct a three-hour search of the shoreline along the cliffs between Whiting Ness and Gullies Pot.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police Scotland can confirm that the body of a man has been found in Arbroath.
“Formal identification has yet to take place but the family of missing man Bailey Mearns have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
A community search for Bailey which was due to start off from Arbroath’s Victoria Park on Friday morning has now been cancelled.
Hundreds of people were planning to join the event, which was being organised by Bailey’s friends in the hope of bringing the popular mechanic home to his family.
Friend Jordan Martin said: “From all of Bailey’s family and friends, we are eternally grateful for the continued support and reaction that we have received from the community as a whole in the attempt to bring Bailey home.”
Bailey’s dad Marc Mearns had spoken to The Courier just 24 hours before yesterday’s discovery and issued a plea for his son to come home.
The 21-year-old amateur footballer trained as a mechanic and had just started a new job in the offshore industry.
Arbroath East and Lunan Conservative councillor Derek Wann said: “I have been following and sharing the updates on the efforts to try to find Bailey and this development is very sad news.
“Bailey is a very popular young man and my thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time as they wait for formal confirmation to be made.”
Hundreds of Bailey’s friends have spent the week since he was reported missing looking for him across Arbroath.