'Forever 20': Mum heartbroken after son's body found in river

·2-min read

Tributes have poured in for a 20-year-old Queensland man, whose body was found in a river after he vanished weeks ago.

Nate Preston was last seen at around midnight on May 22 in Mooloolaba and was reported missing days later after he made no contact with his friends and family and failed to show up to his job as a forklift driver.

Police, along with friends and family, spent weeks looking for the Nambour man and the search came to a tragic end over the weekend when police said a body had been found.

A photo of Nate Preston who went missing in Mooloolaba in May.
Nate Preston went missing in Mooloolaba last month. Source: GoFundMe

"Police will prepare a report for the coroner after the body of a man, believed to be that of missing Mooloolaba man Nate Preston, was located this morning (June 11)," Queensland Police said in a statement.

"Members of the public located the body submerged in the river at Mooloolaba."

Five days after his disappearance, police found Mr Preston's belongings near one of the canals in Mooloolaba, prompting detectives to analyse tidal patterns and sparking a search involving the dive squad.

Police said the circumstances were not suspicious.

'He was a blessing,' says mum

Nate's mother, Petra, has since spoken out about her son's death, saying he wanted to make those around him happy and always make them laugh.

“He had a gift of making people feel so special and so loved. He was a blessing to me, his brother Harley and sister Paige," she said, according to the Courier Mail.

Nate Preston in a red hat. Source: GoFundMe
Loved ones remember Nate for his gift for making people feel special. Source: GoFundMe

She said her son will be "forever 20".

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Jessica Marriott, who says she had known Nate for three years.

"Nate was a very loving and strong person who would have done anything for anyone. So many people loved him," she wrote saying he had his whole life ahead of him.

More than $6000 has been raised through GoFundMe so far.

"Nate deserves a beautiful send-off and of course we want nothing more than for these hard times to be just that bit easier for his family," Facebook page 'Help Find Nate Preston' said.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting