THE DATE has been set for the inquest into the death of a Southampton man who was found in a river still handcuffed after fleeing police more than two months earlier.

As previously reported, 22-year-old Reece Hillier, of Gamble Close, Sholing, was found in the River Itchen, near Riverside Park in Woodmill Lane, on Sunday, March 17.

Daily Echo:

It was reported at the time that Mr Hillier ran off after being detained by officers in Southampton on January 12, during an alleged drugs probe.

It is not clear if the young father fell in the water during his escape from the police, but officers said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

An inquest opened into Mr Hillier’s death earlier this year, with a report from Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Basil Purdue giving a preliminary cause of death was still “unascertained”.

On Friday a pre-inquest review set a date for the inquest of October 29.

The case was the subject of an internal Hampshire Constabulary investigation, however, the outcome or progress of this has not been revealed.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said they would not be commenting until after the inquest.

Daily Echo:

Following his death, Mr Hillier’s girlfriend Brittany Bellows and dozens of friends paid tribute to him on social media.

In the online comments Reece was said to be much-loved and a “funny lad”.