A MOTHER is desperate for answers to solve the mystery of how her teenage son died on a riverbank.

One year on and Clare Taylor told the Echo how the family are struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved 18-year-old son Adam, a loss made worse by so many unanswered questions.

Adam was found dead on the banks of the River Roach, Great Wakering, on March 21 last year - eight weeks after he went missing.

An inquest held in August was unable to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.

Grieving mum Clare, 42, is launching a fresh appeal for anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward.

She said: “I think we deserve closure. In my head, I’m sure someone knows something.

“At his inquest, they said he was a fit, healthy lad. It keeps going over in my mind all the time - what, how and why this happened to my son.”

The former Army cadet, who was studying catering at South Essex College, left his home near Manners Way, Southend, wearing a dressing gown.

Clare launched a campaign, supported by the Echo, in a bid to track him down and police then launched a missing person’s investigation but sadly he was never seen alive again.

At his inquest, the court heard it was not possible to determine a cause of death because of the decomposition due to the length of time he had been in the water. There was also no indication he had taken his own life.

As a result, coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open verdict because there was no way to determine what had happened.

Clare says the absence of answers has made it difficult to move forward.

She added: “In a lot of ways, the lack of closure has made it very difficult to move on as a family. We are still taking it one day at a time. Some days it doesn’t feel real. His sister Beth said to me the pain is still there and she is feeling lost without him. I hope he will just walk through the door and then reality kicks in, but we know he won’t.”

Essex Police continue to investigate his death and Det Insp Chris Rose told the court it would not close until the circumstances were determined.

Clare said: “I would urge anyone who thinks they may know something, even if it seems unimportant, to contact police. It may be the piece of the puzzle that is missing. I know Adam would not have taken his own life.

“He helped friends who were in a dark place and we spoke openly about mental health. “It was only a couple of days prior to his disappearance that we spoke about sorting his passport out as he had plans to go travelling with his best friend and take his catering skills with him.

“He was so excited to see the world in the summer.

“Someone must know something about what happened. Please, please get in touch with the police.”

Adam was described as a “loving, caring, kind young man who had a funny and cheeky character and always wanted to help others”.

More than 200 people attending his funeral last May.