Man found dead at beach likely drowned, coroner finds
THE HOURS leading up to the tragic drowning death of Hobart man Jeremy Dean Young are likely to forever remain unknown.
On Tuesday, Coroner Olivia McTaggart handed down her findings following an inquest into the 45-year-old's September 2019 death in the River Derwent.
Mr Young was discovered face down on the rocks at Little Howrah Beach by two members of the public, two days after he'd gone missing from Bellerive.
Ms McTaggart found his cause of death was likely accidental, and attributed to drowning and intoxication with methylamphetamine - and potentially other substances such as a "research chemical" from the dark web.
She said she could not rule out the possibility his death was self-inflicted, but "an accident seems much more likely", especially since he had plans for the future.
The coroner also accepted evidence from state pathologist Donald Ritchie that despite bruising and a wound to his lower back, it was unlikely anyone else was involved in Mr Young's death.
"He certainly believed irrationally that he may come to harm from an outside source …" she said.
"There is no evidence that any other persons wished to harm him, despite his belief."
The milk process worker left his mother's house on the night of September 1, saying 'I love you mum, I won't be long'.
But after that his movements become unclear, with little evidence to establish where he went that night or how his body came to be at Little Howrah Beach, which likely travelled 500m from his point of entry into the water.
Ms McTaggart noted Mr Young had a long history of drug abuse and addiction, with a propensity to become irrational and delusional while under their influence.
She also noted he had come into a sum of money just before his death, thanks to a property settlement.
"In the two days before his death, Mr Young was exhibiting a high level of paranoia to the point of being delusional," she said.
"Before his death, his drug use was uncontrolled."
Ms McTaggart concluded he may have collapsed unconscious due to the toxic effects of the drugs he'd ingested, then drowned upon the rising of the tide.
She also said he may have walked into the water in a state of paranoia and drowned accidentally.
Originally published as Man found at beach likely died accidentally, coroner finds