THE man who was found dead in the River Trent last week died by drowning, the Mail can reveal.
The South Staffordshire Coroner’s Court released the provisional cause of death after pathologists performed the post-mortem examination on Joseph Whiteside.
Mr Whiteside, 20, of Burton, was found in the river by a canoeist near Meadow Road, off Burton Bridge, on Friday, May 10.
The court also confirmed Mr Whiteside’s name, age and town of residence. An inquets into his death will be held later in the year.
The revelation comes as friends took to Facebook to leave tributes to Mr Whiteside, and messages of support to his family.
In one post, Kimberley Hounsome said she was ‘in absolute shock’ at the news of Mr Whiteside’s death.
She said: “I just can’t believe it. Rest in peace Joe Whiteside. We had so many memories growing up together.
“I will always remember the good times we had. You are in a better place now and I know there will be certain people up there with you that will look after you.”
A post from Dave Whiteside said: “Rest in peace Joe. You will always be in my heart.”
In another post, Ashley Blacklock said she will ‘never forget’ Mr Whiteside.
She said: “Life’s too short. Enjoy every minute of your life.
“Joe Whiteside, I’ll never forget you babes. I will always love you and will miss my cuddles with you. Rest in peace.”
Sharon Burgham said: “Rest in peace Joe Whiteside. My thoughts are with your friends and family.”
A post from Holly Goodall paid tribute to her ‘great friend’.
She said: “He was a great friend of mine. Rest in peace babe. See you again soon.”
It is hoped the release of the provisional cause of death will dispel rumours surrounding Mr Whiteside’s death which had been circulating on Facebook.
Yesterday the Mail reported that Inspector Paul Downing had condemned people who had claimed the tragedy was not an accident.
Anyone with information on Mr Whiteside’s death should call Detective Sergeant Ian Fitzgerald, of Burton CID, on 101.