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Death of Alan Gulsen remains a mystery after being found in River Medway, Maidstone

The mother of a teenager whose body was pulled from the River Medway feared her son may have been murdered, an inquest heard.

Alan Gulsen, 19, was found face down in the river by a dog walker in April and staff at Asda Living alerted police to the discovery.

A cordon was put in place and an investigation was launched by detectives to establish the circumstances surrounding his death.

During an inquest held at Archbishops Palace on Tuesday, a coroner heard Mr Gulsen had been living at Pelican Court in Wateringbury but had not been seen since March 17 when he was reported missing. His body was found around three weeks later.

His mother, Andrea Gulsen, had asked police to check his neck for injuries because she believed her son may have been killed by people he owed money to.

She said: “There were people talking saying his throat was slashed. Alan was scared of people in Maidstone.

“He told me he was being chased by quite a few people. I know he was afraid of somebody and he was hiding.

“I had that feeling he was scared of somebody but I know he was intoxicated so it could have been an accident.”

Police ruled out any third party involvement after no injuries were found on Mr Gulsen’s body which had been in the water for two to four weeks.

Alan Gulsen died after falling into the River Medway in Maidstone
Alan Gulsen died after falling into the River Medway in Maidstone

Katrina Hepburn, coroner for Mid Kent and Medway, heard Mr Gulsen had a history of drug abuse and alcohol and concluded his death still remains a mystery.

She said: “Mr Gulsen was found in the River Medway on April 13 by a dog walker.

“This dog walker noticed a rucksack attached to a body floating face down in the water caught up in a white motorboat.

“A police investigation was started and the area cordoned off. The body was recovered from the water.

“It was noted there was alcohol in his urine and evidence of cocaine and cannabis use. Given the length of time he was in the water and the state of the body due to decomposition changes, it is impossible to say what effect it would have had on Alan at the time.

“I can’t say how he came to die or what caused his death. I don’t find this is a case of suicide even with the reduced thresholds now.”

The cause of Mr Gulsen’s death remains unascertained and an open conclusion was recorded.

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