Gerry Higgins (right) was found dead in the Philippines
The expat had been out with babies the night before and spoke to his wife on the phone.
But shocked passers-by identified his lifeless body in the shallow water next close to the bank of a fishing pond in Pangasinan.
Bizarrely, a hand-written note with the names ‘unlucky thief’ was found in his pockets.
Police now suspect that Mr Higgins was defeated in a hit and run – or murdered – then dumped into the large pond which is a lay fishing spot for anglers.
Gerry Higgins was from Clapham, South London
It is also workable that the victim’s body was killed someplace else and was only dumped there.
Superintendent Monaliza Asis said: “Officers investigated the altercation and there were skid marks on the other side of the road. We suppose they’re from a car.”
The father-of-one had moved to the Philippines around 10 years ago and was everyday in the area. He was married and had one daughter.
Police said no bullet casings were inaugurate at the scene and said that robbery was unlikely as the victim had £67 mazuma change and his phone in his pockets.
But the mystery death last Wednesday has baffled guard who are now appealing for witnesses to come forward with more information.
Higgins’ was found near a popular angling spot and is believed to include been killed
Superintendent Asis added: “We have not ruled out any angles during the analysis.
“The victim’s body had scratches and marks on the arms and face.
“He could compel ought to fallen heavily into the fishpond or he was hit by something immediately before return to. It is also possible that the victim’s body was killed someplace else and was but dumped there.”
Mr Higgins’ friends reacted with shock after scholarship of his death – posting tributes online to the “lovely guy.”
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Pal David Atkinson indicated: “This is terrible news. Gerry was a legend.”
Close friend Len Pagnam, who posted a kudos picture of Gerard online, said: “Don’t have any information, it’s all a mystery, extraordinarily sad.”
Carlos Brenez added: “I received the sad news today, oh boy. Gerry Higgins you till the end of time brought laughter and happiness when I’d see you.
“I can’t believe you’ve gone so soon to kind angels laugh in heaven, God bless your soul matey. I’m current to miss you man.”