The family of a Somerton man who was missing for nine days have been left in a state of shock after he was found dead.
Police called off the search for Philip Eyre, 58, after a body was found on the edge of Kingsdon Woods by a local grounds keeper on Friday afternoon.
The father-of-three was a popular member of staff at AgustaWestland in Yeovil.
His son Tom Eyre said: “He meant so much to everyone. He is going to be missed by a lot of people.
“He always put his family first. There wasn’t a person who ever met him who didn’t like him.
“There’s no one out there who could find a bad word to say about him.
“He was a gentleman through and through and he always had a smile on his face. That smile was one of dad’s defining features.
“The whole family want to thank everyone who helped in the search. We have had a massive amount of help and support from an awful lot of people and I think that is testament to the sort of man he was.
“We are a very close family and are looking after each other.”
Mr Eyre was last seen leaving home at around 5.30pm on Wednesday, December 5.
The discovery of his silver Peugeot 206 car near Charlton Mackrell the next day, prompted a search.
At the time his disappearance was described as “out of character,” by police.
Police dogs and divers were brought into help with the search, along with Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue.
Mr Eyre’s friends and colleagues at AgustaWestland also assisted in the search.
Roger Tearall, Mr Eyre’s manager at the helicopter manufacturer, said: “We are shocked and saddened by Philip’s death.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us who worked with him and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this time.”
Hundreds more friends and colleagues paid tribute and offered condolences via a Facebook site set up to help find Mr Eyre. Matthew and Karen Hawkins said: “Phil was popular and thought well of at AgustaWestland and will be missed.”
William Northfield said: “Words alone cannot express the utter sadness of the news. I had known Phil over many years as a colleague. He will be missed by everyone.”
Monica Beck Brand said: “We will miss him at work more than I can say. He was the best of men and always spoke so warmly of his family.”
Adam Simonite said: “Phil was always such a happy guy when he visited our office, my thoughts are with his family at this time.”
Bob Willis said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who knew Phil. He was such a gentleman.”
Jackie Hodder added: “We will miss his cheery smile.”