The inquest into the death of Linslade man Neil Devlin has concluded this morning that his death was accidental.
At a hearing in Ampthill, Beds Coroner Tom Osborne said: “Neil died as a result of an accident, while walking home from friend’s house.”
Neil, from Town Bridge Mill, 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.
The cause of death at the inquest was given as drowning, and the coroner said this was “more likely than not”.
The inquest also heard that police recovered a jacket by Clipstone Brook but were unable to DNA match it to Neil.
The Morrisons supermarket worker was found without a jacket and was identified by dental records
More than 200 people turned out in the rain last Thursday as Neil was laid to rest at All Saints Church, Leighton.
For more on the inquest see the May 20 issue of the LBO.