HUNDREDS of people took to social media and the internet to express their sadness after Kieran Smith’s body was found.
People posted to Facebook groups, such as those set up to co-ordinate the search for the missing 24-year-old, who was last seen on Tuesday, March 10 after he left his Fareham home.
On the ‘Please help find Kieran Smith – Jibba’ page, Joanna Quade posted: ‘I am so sorry for your loss. Hope you can find some comfort in our community uniting for you. Family and friends are in my thoughts xxx.’
Nicola Cox said: ‘Really sorry to hear this news, thoughts are with his family. RIP Kieran x’
Shar Rogers said: ‘Sorry to read such sad news. Everyone should be immensely proud of themselves for never giving up hope. I hope he is now at peace and my thoughts go to his family and friends at this sad time X RIP.’
Other people took to The News’ Facebook page.
Carol Dilley said: ‘How terribly sad, such a young life and with it all ahead of him. Thoughts go to his family and friends, may they surround each other in comfort as they grieve the loss of this young man. Sleep peacefully Kieran.’
Allison Matthews said: ‘Rest in peace Kieran. Thoughts are with your family and friends xx.’
Others commented on The News’ website.
Balancedtruth said: ‘There are two groups of people to express thoughts for and they are the family, for whom this must be heartbreaking, and for the overground electrical staff who found the body. That must have been traumatic for them too. I hope both groups are well-supported.’
Friends and family have told of their grief and shock after Kieran’s body was found in a field.
A man’s body was found next to the Stubbington Ark, in Ranvilles Lane, near Fareham, by electricity workers at around 8am yesterday.
The workers, from Southern Electric Power Distribution, were on a routine tree-cutting patrol when they found the body of missing man Kieran Smith next to an electricity pylon.
Police were called to the scene, less than a mile from Kieran’s family home, and closed the road to allow investigations to take place.
Kieran’s stepfather Howard Payne posted on a Facebook page set up to help co-ordinate the search.
He said: ‘It is Kieran.
‘It would seem that he was electrocuted by the pylon he climbed and fell below it.
‘Routine maintenance found him while cutting back the brush below the pole.
‘We would like to thank everyone who has shared in our efforts to find him, and especially those who went above and beyond the call of duty in helping to try to bring him home.
‘We will post and speak to people after things have calmed down. He will be sorely missed.’
Kieran, who was nicknamed Jibba, was last seen at about midday on Tuesday, March 10 when he left his family home in Harcourt Road, Fareham.
The 24-year-old was spotted shortly afterwards by a dog walker on Ranvilles Lane, heading towards the Stubbington Ark.
Kieran, a self-employed labourer who had been out of work since Christmas, had no bank cards or ID on him and only a small amount of money.
Concerns were raised for his mental health as he had been talked down from a 90ft electricity pylon in Cosham by police the day before he went missing.
His family – mum Linda Payne, stepfather Howard and brothers Harrison Payne and Kiohl Smith – launched a desperate appeal for him to get in touch.
Other members of his family – dad Gary Smith, stepmum Jamie Smith and half-brother Beau Smith – were also involved in the frantic search.
Scores of Kieran’s friends took to the streets to search and put up posters in Fareham, Gosport, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Two Facebook groups set up to co-ordinate the search for Kieran attracted more than 4,000 followers.
Kieran’s mum Linda spoke of her heartbreak and worry several times – including when she did not hear from Kieran on Mothering Sunday.
Yesterday, Linda, 48, was too crushed to speak.
Other people who knew Kieran spoke of the devastating loss of their friend.
Kieran’s former school friend Ben Johnson, from Fareham, took a lead role in searching for Kieran.
Ben, 24, said: ‘We did our best to find him. I hope his family are alright,
‘I want to thank everybody for helping us with everything.
‘I am sorry that we couldn’t bring him home. He’ll be greatly missed.’
Another friend, 27-year-old Ben Bizley, of Highfield Avenue, said: ‘We tried everything we could and obviously it was not enough.
‘Kieran was one of those guys who was always in the group. He was always good fun to be around.
‘I hope that he is in a better place now.
‘It is a pity that he felt he could not say something beforehand and he could have got help. He was a lovely person.’
Charlie White, 26, who knew Kieran from school, said: ‘He was a nice bloke.
‘We did everything to try and find him. It is so unfortunate.’
In a statement, Hampshire police said they were not treating Kieran’s death as suspicious.
A spokesman said: ‘Our thoughts and condolences are with his next-of-kin.’
A post-mortem examination took place yesterday and his death has been referred to the coroner.
The police investigation into finding Kieran Smith has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
A police spokesman said this was ‘part of standard police procedure when a death occurs after recent police contact.’
Kieran’s stepdad Howard Payne said: ‘A formal complaint has been made and the investigation will be looked into but now is not the time for that.
‘I just want to thank all his family and friends who went above and beyond when he was missing.’