Funeral for Yorkshire backpacker a year after his death

THE funeral is to take place in June of a Yorkshire backpacker who was found dead in the Malaysian jungle a year ago.

Gareth Huntley, 34, who has family in Leeds and Bradford, disappeared on a trek to a waterfall in May. His body was found a few days later.

Mr Huntley had been working as a volunteer at a sea turtle conservation camp.

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His funeral will take place at 2pm on June 5 at Leeds Minster in Kirkgate, Leeds.

In an open letter on Facebook, his mother Janet said: “After what has been a long and difficult period, we have finally been in a position to arrange Gareth’s funeral.

We hope that all of you - his friends and colleagues - will be able to join us at 2pm on Friday, June 5th at Leeds Minster, to say your goodbyes and to help us celebrate the life of an amazing, compassionate, determined, and enthusiastic individual who had such huge zest for life and who had the strongest of convictions that maintaining friendships was all important.

“Friday the 5th of June will be just over a year after Gareth’s tragic death...almost a year without hearing his laugh or his considered debate.

“It is the month in which he would have celebrated his 35th birthday. Coincidentally - yet how appropriate - it is also World Environment Day.

“Thank you all again for your love and support, and for being a friend to Gareth.”