Mystery surrounds the death of a man in his twenties who was found dead in the Grand Union Canal in Aylesbury.

On August 11, the body of Marcus Kapansa was found floating in the canal a day after he had been reported missing by his girlfriend.

At an inquest into his death on Thursday, a coroner found that the 23-year-old died from drowning, but was unable to explain how Mr Kapansa ended up in the canal.

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Beaconsfield Coroners’ Court heard how Mr Kapansa, who was from Harrow but spend a lot of his time at his girlfriend’s flat in Aylesbury, had been reported missing on August 10 after he went out for a walk along the canal late at night.

Bucks Free Press: Tributes were left to Mr Kapansa along the canal following his passingTributes were left to Mr Kapansa along the canal following his passing

Mr Kapansa’s body was discovered in the water by members of the public between Bridge 17 and Lock 16 of the canal, near Park Street, on the following day.

One of the people who first spotted the body in the canal was a man walking with his grandchildren.

Reading out his witness statement to the court, senior coroner for Buckinghamshire Crispin Butler said: “When I looked, I initially thought there was a mannequin. There was a boat and we told them it needed to stop.

“I couldn’t be sure, and I was concerned it was an actual body.

“The boat unfortunately drove over the top of the body. When it appeared from the back of the boat, we realised it was not a mannequin but an actual body.”

Bucks Free Press: Tributes left to Marcus KapansaTributes left to Marcus Kapansa

After discovering the body, the walker called the police and they took control of the scene. The court heard from Detective Constable Laura Wright, who led the police investigation into Mr Kapansa’s death.

DC Wright told the court that when police realised there was no way Mr Kapansa could be saved, an investigation was launched and a scene was established along the tow path.

The investigation found that there were no suspicious circumstances in Mr Kapansa’s death, but officers were not able to find out where Mr Kapansa was or what he was doing before he died.

Mr Kapansa’s phone was not in his possession when he was found in the canal, but it was later handed in by a member of the public, who had found it on the gates of Lock 16. The lock had been part of the police’s crime scene enclosure but had not been spotted by officers.

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The court heard how the phone’s lock screen displayed a message from Mr Kapansa’s twin sister, which read: “I can’t stay on this earth without you.”

When the coroner read out a report from the pathologist, the court heard how Mr Kapansa had alcohol in his system when his body was found – at more than double the drink-drive limit.

The body showed no signs of ill health, and the state of his lungs suggested he could have drowned. The pathologist also found that the boat that passed over Mr Kapansa’s body did not inflict an damage.

A statement from Mr Kapansa’s girlfriend confirmed that Mr Kapansa had been drinking vodka before he went missing the previous night. Mr Kapansa’s family, who were present in the court room, argued that he and his girlfriend had been drinking wine together that night.

In the statement, which was read out by the coroner, she said that Mr Kapansa had left the flat at 10pm on August 10 to go out for a walk and to speak to his cousin on the phone. When he did not return after two hours, she called the police.

The statement said: “I had a bad feeling because this was out of character for him. He always came back to me.”

Reading from her statement, the coroner described how Mr Kapansa’s partner went out and walked along the canal in the dark to look for him.

It said: “A person whistled and I whistled back, and they whistled back at me. I don’t know if that was him.”

The court also heard how Mr Kapansa’s family joined in the search the following morning.

Considering the evidence, the coroner was unable to say for sure how Mr Kapansa ended up in the canal.

Mr Butler said: “We can look at the post-mortem, we can look at texts, and can all ask about how he might have been.

“Alcohol affects people in different ways but that doesn’t tell us what actually occurred. It doesn’t tell us the reason for Marcus being in the canal, that’s the uncertainty that can’t be answered by the evidence.”

The coroner was able to rule that Mr Kapansa died by drowning, but was unable to say with certainty if his death was intentional, accidental, or otherwise, ending by listing Mr Kapansa’s passing as an ‘open’ conclusion.