A STUDENT from North Yorkshire found dead in a city centre days after he vanished in freezing conditions had suffered a serious fall, a post mortem examination has revealed.
Duncan Gibbon was with a group celebrating a friend's 21st in Newcastle when he got separated from the party at about midnight on Saturday.
His friends raised the alarm the next day and a major search was mounted. His body was found on a steep embankment near the High Level Bridge on Wednesday.
A post mortem was carried out at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and it revealed he died as a result of serious injuries he sustained following a fall. Northumbria Police said there were no third parties involved and a report was being prepared for the coroner.
Mr Gibbon, 21, was from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and was studying at Edinburgh University.
He was out with friends he made a decade ago while a pupil at Stokesley School and had been drinking in Fever Bar on the city's Quayside when the friends left in two groups. As each believed Mr Gibbon was with the other, they did not raise the alarm until the next day.
Mr Gibbon's parents, Simon and Kate, and brother Jake, 19, said they would remember him as someone who brought a smile to everybody he met.
In a statement issued on Thursday, they thanked everyone involved in the search, including people asking for information on Facebook.
They said: "All of the messages on those pages echo and reflect our feelings that Duncan was a wonderful son, brother and friend who brought a smile to everybody he met. Every member of his family will miss him greatly."
Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson, of Newcastle CID, said: "Our thoughts are very much with Duncan's family at this very difficult time for them. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends and we will continue to offer them our support."