‘My heart is broken’ - Robert Tang, father of Ian, laments tragic death of 20-year-old from North Walsham

About 500 mourners attended Ian Tang's funeral in North Walsham. Picture: Norfolk Police

About 500 mourners attended Ian Tang's funeral in North Walsham. Picture: Norfolk Police - Credit: Archant

The father of Ian Tang whose body was found in woodland near to the B1145 at Swafield, just outside North Walsham, has spoken of the family's loss on Facebook.

The 20-year-old was last seen on the B1145 in North Walsham just before 6am on Sunday. His body was found at about 11.15am yesterday,

His father, Robert Tang said: 'My heart broken. We weren't prepared for you to go ,

'You were too full of life to be taken away from us so soon, it's still hard to believe.

'How much we will miss your smile and laugh in our ears, your absence leaves a hole in us we're filling with our tears.

'We were blessed to see you grow up, but you are gone too soon.'

Before a body had been found, Mr Tang asked for help in tracing his son on Facebook.

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He said: 'Can someone please let me know where my son Ian Tang is, please?'

Mr Tang was a student at City College Norwich.

Lisa James, curriculum programme manager, Access to HE, City College Norwich, said: 'All of us who came to know Ian through the Access to HE: Science for Health Practitioners course, which he started with us in September, are deeply saddened by his untimely loss.

'Ian made a big impression on students and staff alike and was an incredibly popular member of the group.

'He was a slight young man, but with a massive personality. He was exceptionally capable, funny, kind, sociable and approachable.

'Ian was academically gifted too, achieving distinctions in his first round of assessments. He was set to do extremely well on his course, which would have paved the way for him to go on to study veterinary nursing at university.

'Memories of Ian in his slightly oversized lab coat, which caused much amusement to Ian and to his biology classmates, are a still-fresh reminder of his good humour and sociability.

'He will be sorely missed.'

Yesterday, the community in North Walsham was praised for rallying round to search for the popular man who was reported missing by police.

Up to 250 people gathered at the town's police station yesterday morning to take part in the search.

Tragically, a body was discovered by one of those involved in the search and the area was sealed off.

Police vans and forensic teams were parked near the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, near to the site.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold said: 'I've been absolutely overcome by the number of people that came to the police station to help in the search. It's a testament to the fantastic community spirit in North Walsham.

'I would like to thank everyone who helped - it was a real community effort. People really came out in force. They were willing to do anything they could to help.'

According to Mr Tang's Facebook site, he worked at Rossis leisure centre on the edge of the town.

He previously attended North Walsham High School, and started studying at City College Norwich on September 22.

Previously he had studied animal management level three at Easton and Otley College.

Mr Hornigold added: 'We are trying to piece together his last movements. We have spoken to people he was with at the KA club in the town, which he left at about 2.30am on Sunday.

'We have CCTV footage of Mr Tang there, and of him in and around the town.

'We have a good understanding of his movements going to the club, when he left, and the direction he took.

'He somehow became separated from his friends and the last sighting of him was by a motorist on the B1145 at Pigney's Wood between 5.45am and 6am on Sunday. The driver said that Mr Tang was walking along the road.

'Enquiries are ongoing into why he was in the Swafield area at the time.'