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Friends stunned by Gareth Wetton's death in Malaysia

By Staff Reporter

Published 27/07/2016

Found dead: Gareth Wetton
Found dead: Gareth Wetton

Tributes have been paid to a young Northern Ireland man who died suddenly in Malaysia.

Gareth Wetton, from Stewartstown, was found dead on Monday in the south east Asian country.

The cause of his death is being investigated.

His girlfriend had appealed online for help to find him after he failed to get on a flight in Kuala Lumpur on July 22, but he was found dead a short time later.

He had been living in Melbourne, Australia, for several years but grew up in Co Tyrone and had been a pupil at Dungannon Integrated College.

Friends have paid tribute online to the popular young man.

One said: "Still cannot believe my friend Gareth Wetton is gone. I'm still speechless about it, very sad, RIP my friend and will see you in the other life, rest easy and God bless." Another added: "There are very few people that have graced this planet with their presence that are genuinely good souls and you my friend were one of the best.

"Going to be missed more than you'll ever know.

"My heart goes out to all his family and friends."

An online appeal has been set up by friends in Australia to help with the costs of bringing his body home.

The appeal has raised more than $13,000 (around £7,500). Gareth's family have distanced themselves from the appeal, but thanked his friends for their support.

In a statement, his family said: "The family of Gareth Wetton is coming to terms with the news of his sudden death.

"We would like to express appreciation for the kindness and generosity shown to date, however, we wish to treat this as a private family matter, which is not associated with any public campaign or appeal. We request that our wishes are respected at this very difficult time."

They are currently being assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

The fund was set up by Colin Bell in memory of his 26-year-old son Kevin who was killed in a suspected hit-and-run in New York in June 2013.

The charity has helped to bring home more than 100 Irish people who have died abroad in the past three years.

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