AN ACCRINGTON man was found dead at his business premises on Boxing Day after being missing for nearly a week.
The body of 34-year-old Anthony George Coughill was discovered by police in a factory in Victoria Street, Accrington, at 7pm.
Police at first treated his death as suspicious but following a post-mortem examination on Sunday it was discovered he had died of hypothermia and that no third party had been involved.
It is believed that Mr Coughill, who had recently moved to Borrowdale Close, Huncoat, had been out drinking in Accrington town centre on Friday 19 December and had been in a number of pubs including the Calder, the Bees Knees and Baileys.
Police believe that instead of getting a taxi home Mr Coughill, who worked as a car dismantler, decided to walk the short distance to Victoria Street where he rented a room in the factory which he used as an office.
It is thought that the plummeting temperatures then caused the onset of hypothermia.
In a moving tribute, his mum Catherine Coughill, who lives in Accrington, told the Observer: "Anthony was a devoted and wonderful son who loved life and he was very close to his family.
"If anyone knows where Anthony had been since Friday 19 December, please help with police inquiries.
"The whole family have been devastated by his untimely death."
Although no longer treating his death as suspicious, police are still appealing for anyone who may have seen him on Friday 19 December or after that time to come forward.
Detective Inspector Claire Holbrook said "This is a tragic way for a young man to die during the Christmas period.
"He was clearly intending to sleep within his rented premises in a large factory at a bitterly cold time of year.
"Any amount of information, no matter how small, could be relevant."
Mr Coughill was last seen wearing a black suit and white shirt.
A number of floral tributes have been left by his family at the site in Victoria Street.
The message on one reads: "Everlasting love from mum and dad" and another reads: "My big bro, I’ll always love you and never forget you. All my love, your little bro Gavin."
A third reads: "You have been taken away but in our hearts you will always stay. I love you big brother."
Anybody with any information should contact police on 51212 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.