The family of Mason Clark, 14, who died near his home in West Grinstead on Monday 27 September, have issued through Sussex Police a heart-felt tribute to him, together with a photograph.
The statement says: "We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful, funny, creative little man. Mason Clark touched so many people with his offers to help others, his love of animals, fishing and the weird and wonderful creations he’d build.
"Mason felt supported by his teachers, his family, friends and his huge network of people that loved him.
"We also want to say thank you for the police response to Mason going missing, for their compassion, and we are deeply grateful to the ambulance service for trying their best to save Mason.
"Nothing will be the same without Mason. He was a true individual with an honest heart. We will all be better people for knowing and loving him."
At a pre-inquest hearing on 5 October, the West Sussex Coroner confirmed that Mason, 14, had been found near his home on the afternoon of 27 September following a search after concerns for his welfare. Despite the work of officers and paramedics he was sadly declared deceased at the scene.
An inquest is due to take place on 16 February 2022.