Family and friends have paid tribute to Carl Hutchins who was found dead in the grounds of St Michael’s Catholic School in Garston, aged just 23.

The young father, who lived in Wharf Way, Kings Langley, was discovered in the school’s surrounding fields on Wednesday morning.

Police, paramedics, fire crews and forensic teams were called to the school in High Elms Lane at about 8.50am, following concerns for the welfare of a young man.

Mr Hutchins died at the scene and his death is not being treated as suspicious.

Since the news emerged, there has been a huge outpouring of grief and sorrow on social networking sites, with friends and family posting messages of condolence and setting up a Facebook tribute site in his memory.

Many have remarked on Carl’s happy, easy-going nature, and recounted memories of him making them smile.

His mother Marion Featherstone said: “Carl, my baby boy, why? You should have come to me.

“I loved you then, I love you now and will love and miss you forever and a day.

“RIP my darling Carl, in my broken heart forever.”

His aunt, Julie O’Brien, commented:  “R.I.P to my gorgeous nephew Carl. You will be sadly missed by us all. Hope you are now at peace.

“You were a gorgeous little boy and grew to be a gorgeous young man.

“You were obviously loved so very much. Hope you are now at peace and in a better place.

The world won’t be the same without you. I will look after your mum so you rest in peace honey. Love always.”

Floral tributes have also been placed, by the entrance gates of St Michael’s.

Carl, a former Francis Combe student, was working for Bishop Skip Hire in Hemel Hempstead prior to his death.

One friend, Steven Gullin, commented: “I miss you man, we’d been there for each other lately and helped each other.

“Why didn’t you just come and sit with me?

“It wasn’t worth this, you’ve broken so many people. I look forward to seeing you again one day.”

Another former Francis Combe student, Sadé Lowe added: “It’s amazing to see all this love for you.

“Such a shame you didn’t count on just one of these many people missing you now.

“My heart goes out to your family and all your mates and I hope some day that seeing all this love for you will bring them some kind of comfort.

“One day your little boy will be able to read how many people have had such happy memories with his daddy.

“Sleep well and make sure you’re the best guardian angel for your little boy.”

Leo Gilbert, principal of Francis Combe Academy, expressed his sorrow at the news of Carl’s death.

He said: “The loss of a young life is always tragic.

“The thoughts of everyone at Francis Combe Academy are with Carl’s family at this time.

“A community as close as ours will no doubt be particularly affected by this sad news. As always support is available to all of our staff and students.”

Parents whose children attend St Michael’s School revealed that students had been sent home with a letter on Wednesday, explaining that a body had been found in the grounds, and that staff were shocked and saddened by the circumstances.

At a GCSE meeting held at the school on Wednesday evening headteacher Edward Conway expressed his sorrow at what had happened, and a prayer was said for Carl.