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Death of former Worcester News employee remains a mystery
AN open verdict has been recorded at the inquest into the death of a man whose body was pulled from the river Severn in July after going missing for six days.
The body of Stuart Pickup, from Himbleton, was found near Worcester Rowing Club, off Grandstand Lane, on Saturday, July 6.
Yesterday, an inquest at Stourport Coroner’s Court heard the 37-year-old marketing executive was last seen by a colleague at his London workplace on Monday, July 1.
His car was recorded near junction 11 of the M40 just before 9pm that day and a man matching his description was seen on CCTV in the Tything, Worcester, at about 10pm.
The alarm was raised by colleagues when the former Worcester News employee failed to turn up for a meeting the next day, prompting a social media appeal by friends and family.
His body was found by junior members of the Worcester Rowing Club at about 9.45am on Saturday, July 6, and his car, a black BMW Z4, was found parked in Lansdowne Crescent Lane the next day.
Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams said a toxicology report had found no trace of drugs or alcohol in Mr Pickup’s body and a post-mortem examination had been unable to establish how he died as he had been in the water too long. He said the only sign of turmoil in Mr Pickup’s life was that he had recently broken up with his partner, but he could not say if this had played a part in his death.
“Whether he slipped and fell in or suffered a stroke or heart attack, I just don’t know,” he said. “We just don’t know what he did, where he went, or who he saw.”
Addressing Mr Pickup’s family, Mr Williams said his only choice was to record an open verdict.
“There is not anything I can say that makes this any easier,” he said.
“I’m conscious that I’m not able to give the answers you needed this afternoon – please accept my apologies.
“This will never go away for you, I know that, but it will get easier with time.”
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