The family of Joseph Day - whose body was discovered at Avon Gorge in Bristol - say they believe his death was a ‘terrible accident’.
The 31-year-old went missing from his home in Pembroke Road in Clifton on Saturday, April 30. The following day he was reported missing and a major appeal was launched to find Mr Day, who had been working in construction in the city.
However, on Tuesday, May 3, a body was discovered at Avon Gorge by police. Formal identification later confirmed the body was Mr Day and the case was passed onto Avon Coroners while police continued to make enquiries.
Mr Day’s family, including his partner Kelsey Mulcahy, have been in the Bristol area.
Today, they released a statement to BristolWorld saying they believe his death was a ‘terrible accident’.
It said: “At this stage Joseph’s death is still being treated as unexplained and the coroner’s inquest has not yet been completed.
“From the evidence that has been presented to us by the police, as a family we believe that Joseph has had a terrible accident.
“We know that the Avon and Somerset police are under a great deal of pressure to give media a statement due to the exceptional public interest both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“There are still further lines of inquiry taking place and we do ask for privacy during this incredibly difficult time until we have further answers.”
They added that a celebration of Joseph’s life for family and friends will be held at the Auckland Town Hall on May 26 at 11am.
On May 11, a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said the body found at Avon Gorge had been formally identified as being Mr Day. He added that officers will continue to carry out enquiries on behalf of the coroner.
No date has been set for an inquest to take place as yet. The hearing process will conclude the cause of his death.
Mr Day’s disappearance was described as ‘out of character’ by Miss Mulcahy when an appeal was launched to find him.
An online fundraiser has raised more than $100,000 to bring Mr Day back to his home in Aotearoa, New Zealand, with almost 2,000 donations.
The money will also be used to support the family in their journey to the UK.