Missing cyclist Steven Harper found dead in Italy after eating wild mushrooms and falling off cliff

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Missing cyclist Steven Harper was found dead in Ventimiglia cliffs in Italy after eating wild mushrooms and falling off cliff

A cyclist who went missing in Europe after eating wild mushrooms has been found dead in Italy. Steven Harper was on a cycling trip from Dundee to India last year when he lost communication with his family. An alert was raised in December when the father-of-two failed to contact family and friends for about a month.

According to his family, he went radio silence after he foraged, boiled and ate wild mushrooms near Monaco. Steven's last known communication to his sister-in-law stated that he felt unwell and thought he had eaten something he "shouldn't have". It has since been revealed that on November 23, one hour after the message, Steven plunged from a cliff at Ventimiglia, a few miles from the French-Italian border.

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His older brother, Dale Harper, who flew out to Italy earlier this month to identify his sibling's body, confirmed the death on his Facebook post. He wrote on Sunday (January 21): "The search ended in heartbreak with the discovery of Steven's body in Italy. He had enough resources to survive but might have made a fatal mistake with the mushrooms.

"His death was attributed to a fall from a cliff, possibly due to disorientation caused by mushroom toxins. I was left to grapple with the loss, the responsibility of identifying his body, and the realization of his final moments in a place he loved."

He said his little brother was seen falling and was not alone during his final moments. He said: "Nearby workmen rushed to his aid but given the location, although a helicopter was immediately dispatched Steven unfortunately passed as a result of internal bleeding from the fall.

"While in the police station I was allowed to view some of Steven’s items before going to see him. Looking through I was struck with the realisation that Steven wasn’t foraging for food because he was hungry and had no money.

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"Steven actually had enough money on him to have eaten out for a few nights along the coast but he truly wanted to live off the land as much as possible and he made a small but deadly mistake."

Dale said Steven's passport was said to have been stolen during a robbery earlier in November, which may have led to delays in identification. He said: "We are still waiting on the toxicology report but from the evidence we have it seems most likely that Steven had felt delirious due to the toxins, lost balance and fell with his belongings.

"His guitar was smashed on impact sadly but Steven had money on him in Euros, Pounds Sterling and another foreign currency on him. He had changes of clothing, 3 baseball caps, phone charger, lentils, noodles. He just made a mistake, there was no malice in this."

Dale added: "I take comfort in knowing he was doing what he wanted to do, wasn't wanting for anything, and was surrounded by people in his last moments in a place he always said he had wanted to die - somewhere beautiful and it doesn't get much more beautiful than where he is now."

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