Inquest into death of 25-year-old Norfolk man found dead in Spain

Sam Alger

Sam Alger - Credit: Archant

The parents of a 25-year-old found dead on Spanish farmland after a night out have paid tribute to their 'intelligent' and 'successful' son, following an inquest hearing.

Sam Alger, from Norfolk, was last seen outside the Elrow nightclub in Barcelona where there was a festival on the evening of Sunday June 19. He had been with six others including his brother Robbie but went off on his own and was found face down in a stream the following day, an inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard yesterday.

In a statement, his parents Michael and Eileen described Mr Alger as their 'precious son' who enjoyed a life filled with 'love and friendship'.

'Sam's passing is a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy,' they said. 'And we are so thankful for everyone's love, care and support, but we would ask that we are now given privacy to grieve.'

During the inquest, his friend, Daniel Sale, said in a written statement that they went to the Elrow festival at around 2.30pm on the day of Mr Alger's disappearance.

'By 8pm we were all a little tired, having been out all day drinking alcohol,' said Mr Sale. 'We all wanted to leave the festival but Sam seemed to think it was because he was tired and we wanted to stay.

'He was adamant he was going to leave on his own.'

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A Spanish post-mortem examination gave the medical cause of death as acute respiratory insufficiency, noting the presence of plant matter and water in the lungs and airways. Spanish police officers found two small zip-lock bags in his pockets and a slightly dissolved orange pill, the inquest heard.

A further post-mortem was conducted in the UK once Mr Alger's body was repatriated.

It found no obvious signs of injury or evidence of violence, and noted changes in the body consistent with drowning but gave the medical cause of death as unascertained.

Mr Alger, originally from Necton, near Swaffham in Norfolk, was a keen footballer who played for Dereham Town Football Club.

Coroner Yvonne Blake, recording a narrative conclusion, said the precise cause of death had not been ascertained.