Family baffled after Blackburn man's body found in canal

Lancashire Telegraph: The spot on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Blackburn, where the body of lecturer Gary Forkasiewicz was found The spot on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Blackburn, where the body of lecturer Gary Forkasiewicz was found

THE family of a man found dead in a canal are pleading for answers about how he died.

Gary Forkasiewicz’s body was discovered in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Blackburn by a passer-by, around a half a mile from his home.

His distraught brother Stephen said the Accrington and Rossendale lecturer and assessor, who taught agriculture and horticulture, had been in ‘good spirits’ in the days leading up to his death.

The 55-year-old said: “We have no idea what happened to Gary. It is an awful situation for the family.

“This has come completely out of the blue. What we want now is answers.”

Police are treating the death as unexplained, although there were not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.

Officers are working to find out what happened in the moments leading up to Mr Forkasiewicz being found in the water off Livesey Branch Road, Feniscowles, at around 2.30pm on December 21.

Stephen, a utility company worker, said he was desperate to know what happened.

He said: “Everybody that knew him would probably say he had a dry sense of humour.

“He always spoke his mind. You always knew where you stood with him.

“He was quite private, but we did visit him now and then.

“We were quite close in age and we grew up together before we went our separate ways.”

A keen guitarist, Mr Forkasiewicz, 53, was known for playing an acoustic duo in pubs and enjoyed a drink in the Railway or the Butlers Arms.

Stephen said: “He used to go walking a lot, especially down the canal, but he would never have gone out in the dark because the canal is pitch black.

”Hopefully, the police will be able to shed some light on what happened.”

Mr Forkasiewicz, who lived alone in Pleasington, also leaves brothers Peter, 44, who lives in Waddington, and Karl, 48, who is now in Bournemouth.

His aunt Margaret said the family moved to the UK from Poland after the Second World War.

Det Sgt Adrian McHugh from Blackburn CID, asked anyone who saw Mr Forkasiewicz - who was white, 5ft 9ins and wearing casual clothing and glasses - in the moments before his death to come forward.

He said: “We are appealing for anybody that may have seen Gary or any suspicious activity on or near to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the area of the canal bridge on Livesey Branch Road between 4pm last Friday or until his body was recovered at 2.30pm on Saturday.

“We know Gary was working until Friday afternoon but we need to establish where he spent Friday night and how he came to be in the canal.”

Comments (3)

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11:56am Fri 27 Dec 13

phil kernot says...

Tragic , those toe paths are dangerous the stones are slippy and if you fell in the banking is to high to get out , it's about time thay had proper lighting or was closed after dark ,,, hse needs to look at these tragic accidents instead of pretending there not dangerous ,,,,
Tragic , those toe paths are dangerous the stones are slippy and if you fell in the banking is to high to get out , it's about time thay had proper lighting or was closed after dark ,,, hse needs to look at these tragic accidents instead of pretending there not dangerous ,,,, phil kernot

4:06pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Benpupdog says...

Might be a silly question but could he swim.
Might be a silly question but could he swim. Benpupdog

4:38pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Gob says...

How many men have died in this canal over the past few years? Staggering.
How many men have died in this canal over the past few years? Staggering. Gob

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