Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Missing Student Found Dead on Roof Hours after Family Was Told: 'He's Safe'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Missing Student Found Dead on Roof Hours after Family Was Told: 'He's Safe'

Article excerpt

Byline: David Churchill and Simon Freeman

A STUDENT who went missing for two days on his first visit to London has been found dead on the roof of a West End nightclub.

Police today confirmed that the body found on top of a four-storey building in Bear Street, off Leicester Square, was that of Patrick Halpin, 18, a business student from Galway in Ireland.

In a cruel twist, news of his death came two hours after officials told his family he had been found after Gatwick staff reported he had checked in for a flight home with friends from Dublin City University's drama society.

But as his elated father Paddy and sister Regina, 22, who flew to London on Wednesday, made their way to the airport the report turned out to be wrong. The seats were booked as a block and his absence from the group was not noticed by check-in staff.

His cousin Sorcha Halpin tweeted: "Our hearts have just sunk to a new low. We just found out Patrick is still missing. It was a false alarm."

Patrick was in London with the university drama society on a four-day trip to watch West End theatre shows.

He was last seen leaving the Zoo Bar in Bear Street at 12.20am on Wednesday to go for food at the nearby Burger King. Fears for his welfare grew when he failed to collect tickets for The Book Of Mormon musical later that day.

Regina said: "He was particularly excited about that and had been looking forward to it for ages. So when he did not come back to collect his tickets people realised something was wrong. That was when alarm bells went off."

CCTV footage shows him climbing external stairs leading to the roof of the nightclub and neighbouring buildings. Police who traced his mobile phone found his body in an "enclosed area".

The Zoo club was closed as detectives continued to examine the scene through the night. A local worker who asked not to be named said: "Police told us there was CCTV of him going up a staircase and we were told that's how he had got up to the roof. …

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