The two young children of a 31-year-old who was found dead in the street have been told “daddy is a star in the sky”.
Police still do not know how healthy Steve Bamber, of Springfield Road, near Preston Park, Brighton, died.
Mr Bamber, father to Leaella, seven, and Mason, five, was discovered slumped in front of a garage in Colbourne Avenue, Moulsecoomb, at 8.45am on Saturday, February 9.
A witness said the hardworking roofer had no marks on him and appeared to be perfectly neat and tidy.
On Friday February 8, the former pupil of the now shut Stanley Deason Secondary School in Wilson Avenue, Whitehawk, had been at the Bat and Ball pub in Ditchling Road, Brighton.
His family began to panic when he had not returned home by Saturday morning.
Police and coroner’s officers are now investigating why he was so far away from home.
Yesterday (February 11) his heartbroken girlfriend of more than 12 years, Vicki Moss, with whom he lived, said he would be remembered for how much he loved his children.
She said: “He was a really wonderful dad. He was absolutely fantastic with the children and really doted on them.
“I will just have to look at the kids to see him – they are so much like him.”
Miss Moss’ mother, Janice Moss, who Mr Bamber was very close to, said: “I wish I didn’t love him so much because then it would not hurt so much.”
Not suspicious The 48-year-old, of Montague Street, Kemp Town, Brighton, added: “We all loved him. He was such a lovely bloke.
“It took ages to tell the children.
“We said to them, ‘Daddy went to sleep. Now he is a big bright star who is looking down on you’.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “His death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious at this stage, and the coroner’s office is continuing enquiries.
“A post-mortem is expected to take place this week.”
The family have not yet set a date for a funeral.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Live blog: Brighton and Hove City Council budget 2017/18
- Storm Doris: Live updates as 70mph winds are expected in Sussex
- Cyclist, 68, dies after being found with serious head injuries
- Exclusion zone put in place after 'bomb' found near leisure centre
- UPDATED: Lady Colin Campbell found guilty over three-car pile-up