The family of Stewart Agnew, whose body was found in Lurgan Park on Friday have said he had so much to live for and his memory will live on in their hearts.
They also said support must be given by the authorities to children and young people who have health and well being issues.
The 22-year-old’s body was discovered close to the Avenue Road entrance of the park on Friday morning (January 8), sparking a police investigation as they initially treated the death as suspicious.
However, following a post mortem examination, police said on Sunday they were no longer treating it as suspicious but were still investigating the circumstances.
Stewart was laid to rest on Tuesday, following a service at Craigavon Presbyterian Church.
The family issued the following statement: “Stewart’s passing has devastated us as a family. We feel utterly numb since we were told of Stewart’s untimely passing in Lurgan Park this week.
“It has rocked the entire family circle and his loss is and will continue to be felt.
“Stewart was a young man whom we loved dearly he was a son, a brother, a daddy, a grandson and a great-grandson. Stewart was aged 22 at the time of his passing and there is no doubt that the circumstances surrounding his death were most tragic.
“We will have to bear that cross as a family for many many years to come. He loved dearly sport, his designer gear, he loved his family and he loved his little boy Shea. Stewart’s legacy and life was cut short but we ask that people remember him for the fun loving, caring person he was.
“We want as a family to thank all those who have supported us and have visited our home.
“The love and compassion shown has carried us this far and our sincere words of thanks go to all concerned. Our thanks to the Park staff and the PSNI who dealt with the situation on Friday.
“Stewart was a young man who did have health and well-being problems, however, he had so much to live for. He had so much to offer and yet his life was cut short. Cut off in the prime of life through tragic circumstances.
“Stewart’s memory will live on in our hearts and we as a family are resolute in endeavouring to try and help other young people like Stewart. Support must be given by the authorities to children and young people who have health and well being issues.
“Our hearts are broken and we would respectfully ask that all media queries cease and that we as a family can grieve the loss felt at this time.”
DUP councillor Carla Lockhart said: ““My thoughts are with the family of Stewart. This is a tragedy which has gone to the very core of the community. It’s connection with the Park made it a very public death and we know that Stewart’s untimely passing has devastated his family and friends.
“Stewart was a young man and we are so saddened that his life was cut short. He had so much to offer so many.
“I would commend our park staff and the PSNI for that dealing with this traumatic experience.”
Councillor Colin McCusker tweeted: “Tragic news today of the death of a man in Lurgan Park. Thoughts are with bereaved at this sad time.”
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death which saw the park closed from Friday morning up until Sunday afternoon, when a suspicious element was ruled out.
Notices on the gates informed park users of the closure due to ‘unforseen circumstances’.