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Son's canal death stays a mystery; no evidence of suicide says coroner of man's 'sad end'.


A DRUG addict's death in a Brighouse canal will likely remain a mystery, a coroner said.

Zachary Burka, 50, of Halifax, was pronounced dead on January 16 after his body was found at Camms Bridge in an area off North Cut cul-de-sac.

An inquest at Bradford Coroner's Court heard Zachary's body was discovered submerged by off-duty police officer Leon Stansfield who was out walking his dog.

In a statement read by assistant coroner John Broadbridge, Zachary's mother, Linda Burka, from Liversedge, said of her eldest child: "He was a very outgoing child and also very polite.

"On leaving school he started his training as a chef and then life began to unravel for him. He went from job to job. I suspect he was also a drug abuser.

"He married Susan in 1997 and in April 1998 they had their daughter, India. Sadly she was a stillborn baby and this tragedy hit Zachary really hard and eventually he and Susan separated but never divorced.

"Susan died a few years later after, after falling down the stairs at her mother's home.

"Zachary had been in rehab a couple of times and we, his family, and he also, always hoped he would not relapse.

Unfortunately this was not to be. We as a family and I, even more so as his mother, never stopped loving him. I cherish my memories of him as a beautiful and loving boy and man.

"Zachary has left a very empty and sad hole in all our lives."

After hearing evidence from a variety of police officers and medics Mr Broadbridge recorded an open conclusion saying there was "certainly no evidence of suicide."

Addressing Mrs Burka, a mother-of-three and her daughter, Lucinda, also from Liversedge, he added: "Police officers tried their damndest to get an answer but the reality is not clear."

He told them: "It's horribly sad for it to end in that way."


Drug addict Zachary Burka, who met his death in Brighouse Canal

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2019
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