TWO young men were found dead in separate Bournemouth car parks within the space of a week.
The body of 21-year-old David Atkinson was discovered at a private car park behind the Dalkeith Arcade on the morning of Thursday, August 21.
It has since emerged a homeless man, believed to be a 27-year-old called Patrick, was found dead at the Winter Gardens car park the previous week.
Neither of the deaths are being treated as suspicious.
Describing his son as a kind and conscientious young man, David Atkinson’s father, Neil, said the family were devastated.
The father-of-four said his son, a former pupil at Winton Boys’ School, had a breakdown last month but seemed to be turning things around.
“Everything was very positive,” he said.
“He was on new medication and was seeing a new doctor. He had spoken to his girlfriend that evening and they were planning to see each other the next day.
“He was turning it around.”
The youngster, who had studied car mechanics at Bournemouth and Poole College, was last seen leaving the YMCA hostel where he was staying at around 3am on Friday morning.
He would often go and watch the sun rise from the car park at Richmond Gardens when he couldn’t sleep, Mr Atkinson said.
“We think he may have slipped but we just don’t know what happened,” he said.
Less than a week before David’s death, the body of a homeless man was discovered by a member of the public at the Winter Gardens car park at around 11am on Friday, August 15.
Anastasia Wells, founder of the homeless support group Street Light Bournemouth, said Patrick, affectionately known as Paddy, was a friendly man who was a familiar face at the group’s soup kitchen.
The 23-year-old said: “I remember the first time I met him I was feeding the homeless and he came up to us and said ‘And what’s this here then?’ “He did make us laugh. He was usually very quiet and liked to keep himself to himself,” she added.
A spokesman from the Coroner’s Office said efforts are being made to trace the man’s next of kin.
Post mortems are yet to be carried out on both bodies.
Rector sad over deaths
REVEREND Dr Ian Terry, Bournemouth Town Centre Parish Team Rector, said he was “dreadfully sorry” to hear of the two deaths.
“It’s always shocking to hear the death of anybody in these circumstances. It’s horrible to hear these things,” he said.
The reverend also praised the work being done by Bournemouth Borough Council to help homeless people in the town.
He added: “It’s very sad that despite their efforts this sort of thing still happens.”