THE mother of a teenager found dead in the street has led tributes to her 'kind-hearted' son.
Officers are investigating how 18-year-old Burnley College student Ryan Anderton died in Kay Street, Rawtenstall, in the early hours of Saturday.
Police said Burnley College student Ryan's body had no obvious physical signs of injury.
A post mortem examination was also inconclusive leaving the cause of death still unknown.
Ryan, who was from Rawtenstall, has been described as ‘quietly intelligent and likeable’ as well as ‘a really caring person’.
Ryan’s mother Catrina Anderton and grandmother Nina Anderton, in a statement, said: "Ryan was studying finance and accountancy at Burnley College and was hoping to go onto university next year.
"He was a kind-hearted lad, well liked and loved by everyone who knew him.
“He will be sorely missed and forever in our hearts.”
Family and friends have now started to leave floral tributes where Ryan’s body was found.
His former headteacher at Alder Grange Community Technology School in Rawtenstall, Ian Hulland, said: “Inevitably, everyone I have spoken to is deeply shocked and upset by the loss of Ryan.
“Ryan was a quietly intelligent pupil, a very likable and lovely young man who had a wicked sense of humour and was very highly regarded by staff and students alike. He will be missed."
Officers on patrol discovered Ryan’s body outside Rent Smart letting agency shortly after 3.15am on Saturday. The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.
Despite treating Ryan’s death as ‘unexplained’ police were yesterday, granted extra time to question two men, aged 25 and 32, on suspicion of murder.
Detectives are now appealing for information to help trace Ryan’s final movements.
Officers say they are keen to speak to one woman they believe was in the area around the same time.
The woman is described as white, between 28 and 30 years old, around five feet four inches tall and of slim build with shoulder length, dark, straight hair. She was wearing a turquoise/green,
sequinned low cut top and black pants.
Police believe that the woman was stood near to the railings on the corner of Bacup Road and Kay Street at around 3:45am and that she may have information that could assist with the investigation.
It is thought that she later left the area in a vehicle.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Gray said: “I would appeal to this lady to get in touch with us as she could have information that is crucial to the investigation.
“From what we know so far, it appeared that she was distressed at the time and so we are keen to speak to her. Her distress may be unrelated but it may have been borne out of something she
witnessed that night and so we would like to speak to find out what happened.
“I am also keen to speak with anyone else who may have been in the Kay Street area between 3.10am and 3.50am on Saturday morning and has not yet spoken with police.”
Best friend Matthew Galbraith said: "I've known Ryan since I was in primary school and we have been best mates since. He was an amazing lad. I was with him every day and I even lived with him for a
while. No one had a bad word to say about him. Everyone loved him, he was always generous and never selfish."
Ryan’s school friend Josh Simpson, 19, said: “Ryan was the quietist most softly spoken person anyone will ever meet.
“He was friendly to everyone and nobody ever had a bad word to say about him.
“There was no nicer person. I work at the Rhythm Station Night Club and he was always in there.
“He was even in the night he died. He will be sadly missed, but he is in a better place now.”
Another friend Toni Whittaker said: “I met Ryan two years ago at a friends New Years party. I didn't know anyone at the party and he was the first person to speak to me.
“We instantly got along as he was so happy and bubbly.
“He was a laid back guy who got along with everyone, he really love making you laugh.
“He was a really caring person and it is devastating that he is no longer with us, I will miss him.”
Anyone with information should call Burnley police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.