THE BODY of missing Coventry dad Luke Whelan was discovered in a river on Thursday (January 7) afternoon on Alderminster Road in Eastern Green.
The 37-year-old went missing on November 28 with the last confirmed sighting at the Station Road petrol station in Tile Hill Village.
Though results of a post mortem examination proved inconclusive with further tests pending, Mr Wheelan’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
The body was sighted by a member of the public shortly after 12.30pm on January 7.
Luke’s death was confirmed when his sister, Linsey Whelan, posted a message of tribute to her late brother describing him as “one of life’s characters with a big, beautiful, heart”.
Linsey added: “Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think our Luke would go at such a young age – a man who lit up our world.
“We will never stop loving Luke, he was always just so happy and had so much to live for.
“As a family we have been overwhelmed by the support and kind messages along this awful journey.
“I could write so much about Luke I just wish you had all known him.
“Our devastation is beyond words, our hearts are broken, he was too young too beautiful and way too much to give.”
Hundreds turned out to a memorial service where a moment’s silence was held and members of the public laid flowers and lit candles to remember Luke.
The service was held near to the location where Luke’s body was found.
After the touching memorial, Linsey said: “A massive thank you to everyone that came to Luke’s memorial yesterday – so many people came it took my breath away.
“Luke never knew how wonderful he was but that’s what made Luke who he was – endearing and humble.
“The sun shone, the birds twittering away, the flowers neatly laid and the candles alight but flickering in the gentle breeze.
“I will never be half the person you were because you were the angel in our world and we never knew it until now.”
Since Luke’s death, a Facebook page titled ‘Light a candle for Luke Whelan’ has seen over 650 members join with people pledging their support and thoughts to Luke’s family by leaving individual messages.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Luke’s family and over £3,300 was raised within 48-hours.
One donor, Andy Ross – who pledged £500 to Luke’s family – said: “So happy to grow up with Luke and to go through our school days/ boiler days and not forgetting our fishing expeditions at Hampton and Warwick Uni.
“What a true mate through and through.
“Never will you be forgotten, love you.”
Those wishing to donate to the page can visit www.gofundme.com/jwkc6g64