The family of a man found dead in woodland say it would have been out of character for him to take his own life.

Charles Sammut, 28, was found unresponsive in a wooded area close to Greene View in Braintree on May 17.

Mr Sammut, who was known as Chas, had been reported missing by his family just hours before his body was discovered.

Police and paramedics were called to the incident and performed CPR on Mr Sammut but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

At an inquest into his death on Tuesday, Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard a post mortem examination revealed Mr Sammut had died of asphyxiation while toxicology results showed nothing unusual in his system.

Officers attending the incident back in May had been seen conducting door-to-door inquiries and a cordon had been set up at the scene.

However PC Kelly-Marie Ireland said Essex Police found no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death having initially treated it as unexplained.

It was also revealed detectives had still not been able to access a laptop belonging to Mr Sammut which had been taken from his bedroom.

Speaking in court, Mr Sammut’s mother Caroline Rudd insisted her son had not shown any sign he would take his own life, while his father stated it would have been out of character.

Mrs Rudd said: “He wasn’t down, he wasn’t depressed. If he had taken his life, something must have happened that we didn’t know about.

“He wouldn’t have done this, he was happy in himself. Yes he was quiet, he was the little mouse of the family but he wasn’t down at all.”

Senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open verdict and admitted there were still a number of unanswered questions for his family.

She said: “He clearly was much loved and I would like to express sympathy to you all upon his loss.

“I do hope you will be able to treasure the happy memories you have of him.”