DIED: Bradley Wernham was found dead five days after going missing (Facebook)
THE death of a former prolific burglar whose body was found in a field five days after he was reported missing is not being treated as suspicious.
A post mortem examination carried out on Bradley Wernham, 27, in December was inconclusive, meaning the death was classed as unexplained.
However police today said further tests had ruled out foul play and an inquest will now take place into the death.
Mr Wernham was found dead in a field in Gilston, Hertfordshire, at about 1pm on Friday, November 23.
He had last been seen near The Plume of Feathers Pub at Pye Corner, Harlow, near Gilston, in the early hours of Sunday, November 18.
He was reported missing to Essex Police the next day.
But, the search was called off after his body was found in neighbouring Hertfordshire.
TRIBUTE: A memorial set up for him at the Stow Shopping Centre (Facebook)
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Police said: "The toxicology tests have been completed and we are now awaiting the final post mortem report from the pathologist.
"We are treating the death as non-suspicious and are preparing a file for the coroner."
Mr Wernham was well known in the town and worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in the town, according to his Facebook profile.
Tributes poured in for him on Facebook, where he was referred to as a cheeky chap, and a shrine has been set up at the Stow Shopping Centre.
Jordan Builds wrote: "Rest in peace Bradley Wernham much missed mate had some good old laughs down the copper such a shame such a nice bloke to be taken from us hope your having a good beer up there mate gone but never forgotten."
Samantha Shaw added: "RIP Bradley Wernham. You will be forever in my heart."
His partner Louise Upton also left a number of emotional messages for him on the social media site.
BURGLAR: Mr Wernham in a police mugshot issued by Essex Police in 2010 (Essex Police)
Mr Wernham gained notoriety aged 19 in 2010 when he was branded one of the countries most prolific burglars, who stole from 700 properties in a £1 million crime spree.
He made national headlines when a judge spared him prison, only to be back before the courts four years later on fresh burglary charges.
Some Facebook users suggested police in Essex were slow to search for him as much as they could have because of his criminal past.
There has also been criticism that the force did not issue a public appeal as it has done with other missing persons cases, as friends and relatives had to put their own missing posters about the town.
One said: "The authorities were quick enough to plaster his face over the papers when they wanted him in connection with crime, it seems like another one bites the dust in their eyes."
An Essex Police spokesman said: "A 27-year-old man from Harlow was reported as missing on November 19 and we carried out enquiries to try and find him.
"The search was suspended following the discovery of a man’s body near Gilston in Hertfordshire on November 23.
“We don’t always issue public appeals for missing people. It’s a decision taken on a case-by-case basis.
“There’s lots of other work that goes into a missing person investigation not just an appeal to the public and there was lots of work we were carrying out in relation to this particular investigation”.