Valentin Kachanov: No answers over man's death

Valentin Kachanov Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Valentin Kachanov was last seen alive at Lakeside Shopping Centre in February

It has not been possible to establish how a Bulgarian man whose disappearance sparked a murder investigation died, an inquest heard.

Valentin Kachanov's body was found in the Thames Estuary in Grays, Essex, on 7 May - three months after he vanished.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder at the time but Essex Coroner's Court heard he was later eliminated from the inquiry.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open conclusion.

The 27-year-old had last been seen near Lakeside Shopping Centre on 8 February.

He had called his mother in Bulgaria on that day but Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore told the inquest Mr Kachanov's phone had not been used after and no-one known to him was in the area at the time of his disappearance.

The officer said the most likely hypothesis was that Mr Kachanov had entered the water within hours of ending that call.

A post-mortem examination could not ascertain the cause of death but Det Ch Insp Pasmore said there were no signs of violence or defensive injuries.

He said it was possible Mr Kachanov had fallen victim to crime by "persons unknown to him" but there was no evidence of this nor of any intent to take his own life.

"It has not, unfortunately, been possible to establish how and when Valentin died," he said.

"There was an individual and we did focus in on him and arrest him as a suspect in this death but it became apparent he was not involved."

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