Tributes to man found dead in river

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a kind and popular man whose body was found in a river in Essex after he went missing on New Year's Day. Nelson Nubila Fonkemun went missing in Chelmsford in the early hours of the morning and a major search was launched to find the IT graduate.

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a kind and popular man whose body was found in a river in Essex after he went missing on New Year's Day.

Nelson Nubila Fonkemun went missing in Chelmsford in the early hours of the morning and a major search was launched to find the IT graduate.

Police divers found a body in the River Chelmer on Sunday afternoon and it was confirmed yesterday it was that of the 23-year-old, known in the UK as Nelson Nubila.

An initial post mortem examination indicated Mr Nubila had drowned, and yesterday an inquest into his death was opened and adjourned and he was also formally identified.


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It was also revealed Mr Nubila sent his girlfriend, Zoe, a touching text message in the early hours of January 1 saying how much he was looking forward to spending 2006 with her.

She is said to be “devastated” by her boyfriend's death especially because they had not been able to be together for the New Year celebrations.

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Mr Nubila's aunt, Frida Nubila, paid tribute to her nephew's “fun-loving and good-natured” character.

The 51-year-old nurse, from London, said: “He was very ambitious and hard working, studious and respectful. Nelson will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.”

She said Mr Nubila was very kind and would travel to the capital to help her when she was having problems with her computer.

Mr Nubila's friends also released a statement paying tribute saying he was “fun-loving, cheeky, a great friend who loved to dance.”

Mr Nubila, who lived in Baddow Road, Chelmsford, came to the UK from Cameroon in September 2002 and his parents, Regina and Ferdinand, still live there.

After graduating from Anglia Ruskin University with a 2.1 in computer science he was about to start an accountancy degree.

Mr Nubila, who could not swim, had been out with friends to Dukes nightclub and CCTV pictures showed him leaving at 2.30am on New Year's Day.

His body was found about 100 yards from the entrance to British Home Stores in Chelmsford.

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