THE body of a man who went missing for four months was so badly decomposed it was impossible to say how he died, an inquest has heard.
Tommy Dymond disappeared from Harlyn House in Bridgetown, Totnes, early in September last year only to be discovered by a local farmer on his lunch break in a secluded riverside woodland in January.
The 32-year-old man from Torquay, who was unemployed because of ill-health, was discovered in Sharpham Woods.
In a statement, Ashprington Court Farm worker Richard Coombes said he had gone for a break after cutting hedges on the farm.
He said: "I decided to rest and go down Vicars Hill which is a wooded area that goes down to the river's edge.
"I looked down a drop of 25ft and I spotted two white trainers pointing in the air and a human skull.
"I thought that kids had made some sort of scarecrow but I decided to have a closer look.
"As I got closer I thought I could see a human body. The skull was detached from the body and was further up the slope.
"I went back to the farm and contacted the police."
An inquest into Mr Dymond's death heard that his belongings were discovered all packed into bags, his bed made and all his clothes bagged up in the room he used at the Westcountry Housing home.
A note vaguely alluding to woodlands and of his intents was also discovered which coroner Ian Arrow said was meant to be read after Mr Dymond's death.
Rachel Barber, Mr Dymond's key worker with Westcountry Housing said he had never missed an appointment in the past and she was surprised not to find him in his room on the day he went missing on September 7, 2012.
In a statement to the inquest she said that Mr Dymond had grown more and more into a loner and his appearance was increasingly dishevelled and his alcohol consumption increased too.
She said that while at first he had tried his hands at many activities, all he wanted to do in the last weeks before his disappearance was stay in his room to read or play on his computer.
In her report into Mr Dymond's death, DC Jane Gerrard said medication, vodka, a rope with a noose on the end and a knife were all found in Mr Dymond's backpack in the woods on January 31.
She said Mr Dymond was suffering from depression and had been prescribed anti depressants.
She said the secluded woodland area where Mr Dymond was discovered was not easy to access and would not have formed part of any walk.
Recording an open verdict, South Devon and Torbay coroner Mr Arrow said there was nothing suspicious about Mr Dymond's death but it was impossible to establish the cause of his death.
He said: "Because of the bad decomposition of his body and despite some indications as to his intentions, we are not sure of what happened.
"I am constrained in the findings I can make.
"Mr Dymond was dead for quite some time when he was discovered. There is not enough evidence to form a conclusion."