WEST Midlands Police have confirmed that the body of a man recovered from a local river is that of Coventry-Irish father-of-two Luke Whelan.
Mr Whelan, 37, who had family roots in Dublin, was last seen alive leaving the Unicorn Pub, Tile Hill, Coventry on November 28.
Following a call from a member of the public at around 12.30pm on Thursday, January 7, a body was recovered from the waters just off Sutherland Road, Eastern Green.
A post mortem on Saturday, January 9, revealed that enquiries into the cause of Mr Whelan's death had proved inconclusive, with further tests pending.
Mr Whelan’s death is not, however, being treated as suspicious and details of the case have been passed to the city’s coroner.
His sister Linsey Whelan held a gathering on Sunday, January 10 at the location where his body was found.
In a message on Facebook she said: “I would like to hold a silence and maybe light a candle where Luke was found.”
An online fundraising account has since been set up appealing for help to support his family, and over £3,000 was raised in just one day.
Carol Whelan, who created the fundraising page, posted: “Due to the popular demand of all Luke’s friends, colleagues and family, there has been a request for a fund account to support Kim and the children through a very difficult time.
“Luke was the man of the house and always took care of the bills etc for Kim and the children so let’s just take the stress away from them to deal with everything that’s happened without the added stress of bills etc.
“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the past several weeks you have all been amazing.”
One donor, Andy Ross who contributed £500 wrote:
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 lol. What a true m8 through and through!!!!!! never .....will you be forgotten!!!!!..... M8 love ya.
Another donor, Cathy O’Hagan, wrote: “Rest in peace Luke gone but we’ll never forget you.”
"This is to show Luke that although we didn’t find him ourselves we all, each and everyone of us, never stopped looking and we finally found him."