Published: 13:05, 04 August 2021
| Updated: 15:53, 04 August 2021
Tributes have been paid to a young man who was found dead after a night out.
Friends and family have laid floral bouquets at The Vines, Rochester, where Rory Baldwin, 25, was last seen alive at 12.30am on Saturday.
His body was found the following day outside a house in St Margaret's Street, the road where the Bishop of Rochester resides.
Flowers were also left in the graveyard of nearby St Margaret's Church where police conducted a search for the much-loved son, brother and grandson.
Grief-stricken friends, along with strangers, wept and prayed at a shrine created at the foot of a tree at the beauty spot.
Among them was a friend from Rainham Mark Grammar School where Rory had been a pupil in the year below her.
She described him as a lovely person who she thought had returned to Medway for a birthday celebration.
Head teacher Alan Moore said: "We were saddened to hear of the death of one of our ex-students, Rory Baldwin.
"He was a well-liked student who attended Rainham Mark Grammar School between 2006 and 2013 and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."
Carol Seaborne, who worked as a support teacher at the school for seven years, has fond memories of him.
She said: "He had a lovely personality, always kind, always polite. He was very popular and was in a strong friendship group. I am sure all the teaching staff at the school who met him would say the same and I hope that can be some comfort to his family."
After leaving the secondary in Pump Lane, Rory worked as a senior asset information analyst at South East Water, based in Snodland, from November 2013 until June 2018.
As the tributes mounted on Monday evening, another colleague who he used to play football with shed a tear as he paid his respects, saying he was well-liked among the team.
At the church in St Margaret's Street, two youngsters who live locally said: "It's so very sad, he was so young."
A massive hunt was launched by emergency services for Rory after he vanished while out with friends.
Rory, whose family moved to Farnham in Surrey, went missing at 12.30am on Saturday and was discovered at around 7.30pm on Sunday.
A police helicopter hovered low over the river for nearly an hour on Saturday morning and coastguard search boats were also involved.
Their search focused around The Vines, St Margaret's Street and the other side of the river on the Esplanade in Strood near the former civic centre.
He was last seen wearing a dark Fred Perry polo shirt beneath a dark jacket, dark jeans and dark trainers.
His sister Milli took to social media over the weekend, asking people to come forward if they had information.
In a tweet shared 4,200 times, she said: "My brother went missing last night in Rochester. If you have any information or have seen him please let me know ASAP.
"PLEASE SHARE AND GET MY BROTHER HOME."
She took to Facebook after the discovery to thank people for their help in the search.
She said: "First and foremost I would like to thank everyone in their efforts in the search of my brother Rory Baldwin.
"Whether it be sharing on social media or physically searching, it means the world to me and my family.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get the best of news last night as we had been told my dear big brother had passed away too soon in his life. Please understand my family's needs for time to ourselves.
"Rory loved you all and he will be dearly missed. He had a huge impact on so many people's lives and everyone who had the absolute pleasure of meeting him knows that he was the most down to earth guy ever.
"RIP Big Brother. I'm going to miss you more than you will ever know. We will be reunited eventually, but until then, just hold on."
Police spokesman Vicki Foster said: "Mr Baldwin was found outside, near residential property.
"The circumstances are not being treated as suspicious.
"The river was searched as part of the search perimeters but he was not found in water."
A report will be prepared for the coroner.