The family of a father-of-one who went missing six years ago have paid tribute to his cheerful and caring legacy following his inquest.

An inquest was heard on Tuesday into the death of Nigel Kedar, 52 of St Osyth near Clacton, who was last seen in April 2017.

Present in court were several members of Nigel's family, including his former partner, Wendy Keogh, who paid tribute after his death was recorded an open conclusion.

"He was a very present father," Ms Keogh said. "He would come round to see him at least four times a week, if not seven.

"They were always together. Anyone who knew Nigel could see that our son was his life."

East Anglian Daily Times: Mr Kedar's body was found just outside Mendlesham on the A140Mr Kedar's body was found just outside Mendlesham on the A140 (Image: Denise Bradley)

She said that Nigel was devoted to their son, who was 14 when his father disappeared in April of 2017.

The other members of Nigel's family agreed. They said that Nigel had been a cheery, happy-go-lucky person, who always had a smile on his face.

He was well-liked, a "big, bold character" who had countless friends, who he would do anything to for. He was also confident and self-assured, and not one to let small things worry him,

The inquest heard Mr Kedar had travelled to Norwich to visit a friend on April 2 and was captured on CCTV outside Dickleburgh Post Office on April 4, 9.25am. He had been walking south from Norwich along the A140. 

This was the last time Mr Kedar was seen alive. An extensive police search known as Operation Goldmine was launched, but yielded no results.

Mr Kedar was missing until June 2023, when a member of the public discovered his body.

Those in attendance at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich heard that Mr Kedar’s body was found in a field in Blue House Lane in the Wetheringsett/Mendlesham area.

The owner of the land and a friend were in the process of trying to clear the field, when they discovered what they initially believed to be a coat.

The court heard that Mr Kedar had been spoken to by officers at Bethel Street police station in Norwich city centre on April 3, 2017.

He appeared paranoid and confused and was not wearing any shoes or socks. He told officers that he had left his friend’s home at 6.30 that morning, having become frightened that they were going to “stitch him up”.

Mr Kedar told officers that he had taken cocaine and amphetamines with the friend the previous night.

This was concerning to the members of Mr Kedar’s family who were present in court. His former partner, Wendy Keogh, said that he had never taken drugs during the years she had known him, and was “not a big drinker”.

Ms Keogh said that she had received a call from Mr Kedar that morning, which made her worried for his state of mind. He repeatedly asked her to take care of their son, and sounded “confused and muddled up”.

Mr Kedar left the police station, but returned a few hours later wearing a new pair of shoes and carrying a Sainsbury’s bag.

The officers said he did not appear to be drunk, but still appeared anxious, saying to the police that he was not going to drive his car because he believed that they were waiting to charge him for drink driving.

The officers told him that this was not the case, and suggested he go to the nearby library if he was looking for a quiet place to sit.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mr Kedar was walking south from Norwich along the A140Mr Kedar was walking south from Norwich along the A140 (Image: Denise Bradley)

The next sighting of Mr Kedar was the CCTV footage at Dickleburgh Post Office, a distance of 17 miles which he appeared to have walked.

This was the last time Mr Kedar was seen alive.

His body was discovered on June 8 2023, a distance of 10 miles from Dickleburgh Post Office.

The court heard that his body is likely to have been there for some time.

Assistant coroner for Suffolk Mr Daniel Sharpstone explained that, owing to the lengthy period it took for Mr Kedar’s body to be discovered, there was not enough evidence to establish a cause of death.

He therefore recorded an open conclusion, before offering his condolences to Mr Kedar’s family.