Family, friends and work colleagues have paid tribute to a ‘much loved’ Newport man who died last week.
Kevin Kirkland, aged 44, was found close to death near Newport canal by two passers-by just after 8am last Wednesday.
He died less than an hour later at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
No cause of death has been established and detectives are keeping an open mind in trying to find out what happened.
This week, Kevin’s mum Jean Foster, spoke exclusively to the Advertiser about her ‘popular’ son.
She said: “Kevin had many close friends and he was much loved by his family. He always had plans to do something and he had a great social life.
“We are devastated, we have been through a terrible time. There is still a long way to go and we still have a lot to do.
“It’s just hard to believe it, when the last time you see someone they are so happy, then they are gone and you never see them again.
“We found out on New Year’s Eve and we first visited the site on Monday with friends and family.
“We were not sure where it was but we were escorted there and some of his friends had already been to lay flowers. There were tears but everyone had a chance to speak to each other.
“This week his work at Synnex in Telford have given him an international tribute, he worked in a small office but he made a big impact there.
“The investigation is still wide open, the police are searching every avenue and no stone is being left unturned.”
Mr Kirkland lived alone in Newport and had worked as a service engineer with IT firm Synnex based on Stafford Park, for 15 years.
Human resources manager at Synnex David Jones said: “We are absolutely devastated, not only in the UK, but we have spoken to our offices in Taiwan and America and everybody knew him.
“He worked in a department of only four people and they have been hit hardest. We are missing him already.”
Police revealed this week that Mr Kirkland was discovered partially clothed at the foot of a tree.
A number of detectives are working on the case and they want to trace anyone who may have information, particularly about Mr Kirkland’s movements in the hours before his death. They also want to talk to anyone who uses the footpaths close to Newport canal and anyone who might have seen Mr Kirkland on Tuesday, December 29, or any other previous occasion in that particular area.
Detective Inspector Steve Tonks, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are still appealing for information, particularly about his movements on Tuesday, December 29.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Telford Police on 0300 3333000.