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Body at bottom of Spanish cliff thought to be 20 year-old Ipswich man

PUBLISHED: 07:01 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 12 October 2018

Juozapaz

Juozapaz "Joseph" Astromskas, 22, lived and studied in Ipswich. Picture: PROVIDED BY FAMILY

Archant

A family are in shock after an Ipswich man was found dead at the bottom of a cliff near a secluded retreat in the Spanish mountains.

Juozapas Astromskas - known to his friends as Joseph - was two weeks into a six-month stay at the Vida Holistica El Pardal working farm in the Sierra de Carzola national park in south-east Spain.

The alarm was raised when he did not appear for breakfast on the morning of October 3.

Spanish emergency services searched the area and found the 20 year-old’s body at the bottom of a sheer cliff later that day.

The Spanish authorities and Lithuanian embassy have told Mr Astromskas’ mother in Lithuania a formal identification will take place and an investigation into the circumstances will conclude in the next two weeks.

Mr Astromskas’ sister, Lidija Astromskaite, lives in Ipswich with their father.

She said: “We were like twins, we did a lot together and he shared all his interests with me. He made me the person I am today.

“He was always trying to be cool and strong, but the moment you were sad he was the first person to try and help you.

“We are all trying to carry on as much as possible but it’s very hard - we’re all in shock.

“It’s horrible, but I hope it is someone else. While this is happening so far away it doesn’t seem real.”

Mr Astromskas lived in Ipswich since he was 13 and went to Westbourne Academy before studying IT at Suffolk New College.

He was working as a cleaner at the Empire Cinema before leaving to work at the retreat.

Miss Astromskaite said: “On the last night he was here I told him I loved him and I was proud of him - he was extremely excited and leaving in a few hours.

“I didn’t know this would happen, but it actually felt like the last goodbye.”

“When he got there I got a picture of the mountains to tell me he found it, he said the people were nice and the work was hard - then that was it.”

The family now face fresh heartache as the Lithuanian authorities have told their mother, who stayed in their home country, that repatriating Mr Astromkas will cost thousands, a sum the family must raise themselves.

Miss Astromskaite added: “We don’t speak Spanish, they don’t speak English - with this expense the situation is overwhelming.”

The retreat Mr Astromskas was staying at in Spain has been contacted for comment.

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