IT could be several weeks before the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Hampshire teenager Ross Haughey are revealed after a postmortem proved inconclusive.
Police say further toxicology tests are now under way to determine the cause of the 17- year-old’s death earlier this week.
As reported by the Daily Echo, Ross went missing after leaving his home for a walk last Sunday and failing to return, prompting his worried parents to raise the alarm.
By Monday a large-scale manhunt had been launched with police and volunteer search teams from across England scouring the New Forest to try to find the teenager.
Concerned members of the public and Ross’s fellow sixth form students from Burgate School, Fordingbridge, who had launched an Internet campaign to raise awareness, also turned out to help.
Today staff and students paid tribute to Ross, who was studying maths, physics, project design and history, and was described as one of the most able students who was destined to achieve glowing results.
Head teacher David Pover said the school community had been “devastated” at the news of his death and despite the tremendous sense of hope in finding him, they now had to come to terms with the news.
They are offering pastoral support and specialist help to pupils who need it, he added.
Mr Pover said: “Ross was a lovely young man who had already demonstrated exceptional academic success. He enjoyed running and walking in the New Forest. He will be remembered as a gentle, modest student and our thoughts are with his family.”
Louise Burns, head of sixth form added, “We’ll miss seeing Ross’s lovely brown eyes and shy smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Friend Nick Hammond- Smith, 16, said: “You couldn’t find a nicer person than Ross.
He was a good friend who sat with me in some of my Alevel classes. He was a quiet, private character who was totally dedicated to his studies.
“Yet despite his great academic success, Ross was modest about it. He was always focussed on what needed to be done. All of us had the greatest of respect for him. I have lost a great friend.”
Sam Rogers, 16, added: “Ross and I were good friends but undoubtedly my fondest memories will be running with him both in school and at county competitions.
“We encouraged each other on to bigger and better things and running brought out the very best in us both. We always had a great respect and friendship which was bigger than the friendly rivalry that brought us together. He will be greatly missed.”