The family of a man whose disappearance “united the community” say they were “overwhelmed” by well-wishers who packed his funeral on Thursday.
More than 200 people turned out in the rain as Neil Devlin was laid to rest at All Saints Church.
Neil, from Town Bridge Mill, Linslade, went missing on New Year’s Day and his disappearance sparked a campaign for his safe return.
As many as 3,000 residents helped in searches for the 37-year-old, though seven weeks later his body was found in the River Ouzel.
Following the discovery neighbours launched an online fund to help pay for Neil’s funeral and after a surge of donations they were able to fully meet costs of £2,000.
Tributes at the funeral included a floral display in the shape of a trolley, in keeping with the 37-year-old’s job as a car park assistant at Morrisons.
Neil’s uncle David Shaw told LBO that his family were “overwhelmed” by the community spirit shown by the town.
Mr Shaw said: “The funeral was a lovely tribute and was unbelieveable to see so many turn out for it.
“It was phenomenal and I was surprised to see how popular Neil was to everyone there.
> For the full report see Tuesday’s Leighton Buzzard Observer