The devastated family of a "happy-go-lucky" father-of-four have paid an emotional tribute after his body was found on a riverbank one month after he went missing.
Karl Pyle, 32, went missing following an argument with a relative in Ryton, Gateshead on March 6 and his dad Kevin had spent the following days combing the banks of the River Tyne in Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Taxi driver Kevin believed his son was most likely walking home to his house in Blucher, Newcastle, over the bridge at Newburn and his theory was proven correct on April 6 when Kyle's body was found just over 20 yards from where he had been searching, Chronicle Live reports.
Kyle, who was a father to three daughters and a son, and was step father to partner Jade's three children, was described as 'just a happy-go-lucky lad' and 'one of the boys' by his dad Kevin and mum Karen.
"Karl had a very large circle of friends, some of who he had known since he went to Broadwood Primary School, in Denton Burn," Kevin said.
"He loved socialising but he was also a keen fisherman and just loved to be outdoors, and used to go camping in the woods. We used to go fishing together. He was very close to his mum - he left home when he was just 18 but only moved to the end of the street. We are a close knit family anyway, but he was never far from Karen.
"Karl's favourite song throughout his life was 'You Are My Sunshine' and he used to sit on the wall when he was only about five years old and sing it to to the women who walked past the house. He had a slight speech impediment then, and they loved it. He was a little livewire."
According to Kevin, Karl had spoken to a woman in Wylam just days before his body was found, and he had told her he was starting to head home to his parents' house in Silver Lonnen, Newcastle.
Although Kevin and Karen say they have been shattered by Karl's death, they can take some comfort from the fact that he was heading home to be with them and his sister Charlotte, 27.
"Karl suffered with mental health issues and he has gone missing before, but never for long," said Kevin. "Call it gut instinct, but I think we were expecting the worst before the police told us he had been found.
"It was as if the umbilical cord had been severed. At the moment, the cause of death is drowning, but we won't know the full details until later on.
"Although we are all devastated by Karl's death, it is a relief his body has been found as it brings us some closure. We know he is safe now. Not knowing was terrible."
The exact cause of death is not yet known but police do not believe there to be any third-party involvement and a report will be made for the coroner.
Karl, who tragically lost his first child, a son also named Karl, just two days after he was born in 2011, was a landscape gardener and the owner of Jade's Deli in West Denton.
His funeral will be held later this month and Kevin conceded that the situation is "heartbreaking".
"As a family we are coping. His oldest daughter, nine-year-old Macey is really angry and upset, but the others, Frankie, six, Bonnie-Ella, two, and Dulcie-Sue, three, are really too young to know what's happened," Kevin said.
"Little Frankie asked me if his dad was playing football in Heaven with his big brother Karl, who would have been 12 now, and his great grandad who died last year. It's heart-breaking."