No answers over how missing Baljeev died, inquest heard

Baljeev Johal
Baljeev Johal

It can never be known how or when 24-year-old Baljeev Johal died before his body was found in the River Leam at Marton, an inquest has heard.

Baljeev’s body was pulled from the river in Marton in April - six months into an extensive police search after he was reported missing from Ryton-on-Dunsmore in October.

His body was so badly decomposed that a cause of death could not be identified.

It is also unknown when, where or how the student from Nottingham entered the river, despite strong evidence that it was on the night of his disappearance.

Officers from Rugby CID told the inquest in Leamington that the family was at a wedding at Sports Connexion when they had a “minor” spat over who would drive home.

Baljeev walked off around midnight, and when he did not return after 10 minutes, his parents searched the area before calling police who launched a large-scale search.

The inquest heard that he was not notably drunk, and despite being diagnosed with depression, had never expressed suicidal thoughts and was in high spirits that night.

Warwickshire Coroner Sean McGovern said that with only one legitimate sighting of Baljeev in Marton on the night of his disappearance, it was very likely he died that night.

Recording an open verdict, he said: “His phone was not used and it is unlikely he would have stayed in the area he did not know for days.

“If he was upset after a minor argument he maybe walked further than intended and slipped in the river, he maybe threw himself in or maybe didn’t reathink much of it and just went in. Which is the case, we simply do not know.

“Although he had mental health problems he left no note, and never said he wanted to take his own life.

“My condolences go to his family and particularly to his parents.

“To have a child missing for six months, there a certain relief in finding the answer. Sadly in this case that answer was that his body was found.”

Baljeev had recently graduated from Leicester University with a 2:1 degree in business.

His sister Haneet has described him as a homely kind of person, who was quiet and kept himself to himself.