Teenager's body found trapped in thick slurry two days after he vanished on night out, inquest hears

Henry Austin

A teenage student's body was found trapped in thick slurry at a building site two days after he vanished on a night out, an inquest has heard.

Marcin Porczyk was "camouflaged" in the mix of building materials before he was eventually found by workers at the waterfront development, Swansea Coroner's Court was told.

The 18-year-old who was studying business at the Welsh city's university, was almost three times over the legal drink-drive limit at the time he was captured on CCTV wandering around the Kier Construction site in Swansea docks.

Porczyk, whose family moved to Wales from Poland when he was seven, was found lying on his back and partially submerged in a 12 inch-deep concrete washout area, and was "caked" from head to toe in thick slurry which was found in his mouth, nose and eyes.

His university friend Harry Hutchinson told the inquest that the pair had drunk double vodkas, rum, and five Jagerbombs each on a Saturday night out on January 2017.

He described Porczyk as "coherent but drunk" before he suddenly ran off after leaving the Fancy a Rum bar.

Mr Hutchinson said: "We came down the stairs then he tripped over onto the pavement. He sprang up and ran off. I thought he had run off home. I went back inside. Then I went back to the flat. He wasn't there."

The next day friends raised the alarm when Mr Porczyk failed to return to his student digs in the Strand area of the city, or respond to social media messages.

But a police search was called off when building site workers discovered his body two days later on 24 January.

Matthew Davies, a ground worker, said he noticed the outline of a body covered in grey building material in the concrete washout area when he got off his dumper truck.

"I was facing down towards the sea, I got off the dumper, looked down towards where concrete washout was and that's where I saw him," he told the inquest. "He was just stuck there, it was if he was frozen. All his face was covered, his eyes, his t-shirt, in the mud."

Dr Nadine Burke, a consultant pathologist, said Mr Porczyk's body was completely covered from head to toe in "muddy, wet slurry" having fallen down face first before managing to turn onto his back.

The material was found in his eyes, nostrils, mouth and had entered his airways.

She added: "The level of alcohol behind eyes was 209 milligrams per decilitre. In my opinion, this was a significant level that would have led to disorientation, and poor coordination. In addition alcohol accentuates the effects of hypothermia. It was seven degrees outside, and he was in a t-shirt. Again, hypothermia makes you very confused."

Dr Burke said the scratches and bruises found on Mr Porczyk's body was consistent with him "clambering over" objects in order to get onto the site, as opposed to squeezing through a small hole later found in the metal fencing around it.

Assistant coroner Paul Bennett said Mr Porczyk "effectively drowned" after falling face first into the slurry in a disorientated state caused by his drinking and the cold temperature.

He said: "Due to combination of intoxication and hypothermia he became confused and ended up face down in the slurry, inhaling a quantity of it, and effectively drowned."

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.