HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a much-loved man described as a “friend to many” after his body was found in Basildon. 

Gary Billings, 37, was reported missing on January 8, before police found his body on Wednesday. 

Since, the Echo has opened a book of condolences with heartfelt messages left from across the community. 

READ MORE - Book of condolence: Your tributes to Gary Billings

Stuart Cooper said: “I can’t believe we will not see your infectious smile and hear your banter. We will miss you my good friend and we will see you in heaven G.”

Samantha Makin said she was “blessed to have known Gary”.

She added: “It doesn’t feel real, you was one of the most kindest funniest blokes ever, 

“I’m blessed to have so many years growing up with you our friendship has always remand the same, parties or seeing each around occasionally same groups going out together, we would just laugh dance the night away you was so loved gal wish you could have seen that.

“I would have done anything to help you through bad times really am going to miss you, the most bright biggest smile not to mention your hilarious and such s good vibe to be around, thinking of your family, love you boy, never forgotten always in my heart.”

Tanya Martin added: “I can’t believe you have gone, can’t get my head around it. You were the life and soul of the party, always smiling and laughing, And would always help a person out if you could. 

“Fly high Gary, you’re at peace now gone but never forgotten.”

While others shared memories of growing up in school together and a common interest of Gary’s beloved West Ham

Leon Hyde said: “What an amazing guy, from when we were all at school playing football at break to now, being a hammer, we got on so well, to where you were going to sponsor my football team, RIP mate u was loved by so many always a hammer Gal, god bless son.”

To write your tributes to Gary Billings in our book of condolences, visit echo-news.co.uk/news/19844388.tributes-basildon-man-gary-billings/