THE body of a 21-year-old man who had told his auntie he was ‘going back native’ to live on the streets was found in an East Lancashire reservoir.

Luke Noone, who had been staying in Auxilium Housing accommodation in Islington, Blackburn, was last seen on October 15 in Darwen, and was reported missing two days later.

His auntie, Donna Baldwin, put out an emotional plea at the time of his disappearance, begging the 21-year-old to get in touch.

His body was found three weeks later in a reservoir in Darwen.

At an inquest in Blackburn, Ms Baldwin said: “He came to see me just before he went missing and left a bag with me, saying he would come and collect it the following day.

"He said he was 'going back native'.

“He had a white Samsung tablet that he used, and he took that but left the charger.”

Following extensive searches at various locations by specialist police teams, clothes belonging to Mr Noone were found at the edge of the reservoir behind Punstock Road and Kelvin Street on November 6.

Shortly after his decomposed body was discovered in the water with police confirming he had been in the reservoir for some time.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: “On the balance of probabilities in the absence of a cause of death due to significant decomposition, and given the circumstances and where he was found, the cause of death is most likely to be drowning.”

The inquest heard how Mr Noone had had a troubled upbringing, and would often sleep rough, or take himself off for days at a time, camping in the woods and going fishing near his auntie’s home in Punstock Road.

Ms Baldwin said: “I was like a mum to him. He lived on and off the streets for four years but he’d always get in touch or turn up for a chat or a brew, and stay over.

"His mental state wasn’t good.

“He’d been in a relationship with a girl and said they might’ve been expecting a baby and he was really excited about that, but after his death I heard from one of his friends that she’d made it all up and said she’d had a miscarriage.

“He’d harmed himself and went to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, but said he was going to go to Scotland to get his head together and that’s what he did.”

It was heard that when Mr Noone got down about things he would often take himself away until he felt better, but would always contact his family to let them know how he was doing.

He also had a history of depression and other mental health issues and had been taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital one month prior to his disappearance after a text message that had ‘blown his mind’ caused him to act out of character.

The contents of the message were never disclosed to any hospital staff or his family, but it was heard the message had referred to an ex-girlfriend.

The night of his disappearance he was going to see if he could borrow a tent from his mum so he could camp out in the woods close to his auntie’s house.

Mr Noone’s cousin, Megan Bickerstaff, said he would never have tried to take his own life and believes he went into the reservoir to try to retrieve his Samsung tablet.

She said: “I think his death was accidental. We think he dropped his tablet in the water and went in to get it.

“He had such a hard life but he was a strong person and if he was going to do something he would’ve done it a long time ago.”

Ms Baldwin added: “He was a strong swimmer. But we think he probably went into the water at night and wasn’t able to get out.”

Reading from a police statement, Mr Taylor said it was possible Mr Noone had entered the water on the night of October 15 and that was when he died.

Recording a narrative conclusion into Mr Noone’s death, he said: “Luke was found dead in the reservoir near Kelvin Street on November 6. How or when he came to be in the reservoir could not be ascertained.”