The devastated family of a dad found dead on the Yorkshire moors have said he “was our everything” in a tragic tribute.
Rhys Thompson’s family described him as a ‘sweet, funny and warm-hearted’ man who has “the biggest heart” as a murder investigation continues.
The 29-year-old, from Moss Side, was found dead on land off Pike End Road in Rishworth, Calderdale, in the early hours of Thursday.
A call was made to police at 6.40am.
Police believe Mr Thompson and three friends were involved in a disturbance with another group of men on Delaunays Road, Crumpsall, Manchester, at around 3.40am.
He was found dead in Rishworth three hours later.
A post-mortem has established Mr Thompson died of serious head injuries caused by a weapon.
Police say this is ‘likely to have occurred in the Greater Manchester area’.
Detectives from GMP’s Major Incident Team arrested four men on suspicion of murder on Sunday.
They have since been released under investigation.
Paying tribute to Mr Thompson, his family said in a statement: “Our beloved son, Rhys Thompson, was our everything.
“A sweet, funny, warm-hearted man, a fantastic brother, devoted father, loving boyfriend and respectful loyal friend.
“Rhys had the biggest heart and loved his family and friends dearly. He would always help when he could, he was a beautiful soul.
“We all miss him terribly; he did not deserve to be taken so soon.
“We are heartbroken; his loss will change our lives forever. We cannot imagine a future without him.”
Extensive enquiries, including meticulous CCTV work, is ongoing, Greater Manchester Police added.
Investigators are particularly interested to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard a disturbance in the Crumpsall area or near Pike End Road, Rishworth, in the early hours of Friday.
Superintendent Helen Critchley, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “This is a seriously complex investigation which involves detectives pursuing several lines of enquiry and we are making sure that we are doing all we can to get answers for Rhys’s family.
“It is absolutely vital that anyone with even the slightest bit of information contacts police, particularly for members of the public in the Crumpsall area that may have heard a disturbance in the early hours of Friday morning – this is believed to have pertinent links to the ultimate discovery of Rhys’s body a few hours later in Rishworth.
“There has been an increase in police presence in the Moss Side and Crumpsall areas since this fatal attack and this will continue to take place to reassure the community.
“All our thoughts are with Rhys’s family at this extremely difficult time and we are doing all we can to get them the answers as to how their loved one was so tragically taken from them.”