Latin America

Joe Tilley ‘asked for shaman’ before falling to his death

An inquest heard how a reality TV star became disorientated and fell to his death after asking "to find a shaman" and wandering off.

Joe Tilley was travelling in Colombia at the time and his body was found submerged in the lower part of the towering Fin del Mundo waterfall, known as The End of the World.

The 24-year-old, from Leicester, was last seen alive heading towards the waterfall on 5 May.

He was found dead on 12 May.

'Flicking personalities'

His inquest at Leicester Town Hall heard he had previously experimented with drugs, visited a shaman, spent time with a tribe and taken part in ceremonies involving a bufo toad and the poison of a kambo frog.

Reading from a police report, senior coroner Catherine Mason said it has been suggested the effects of these ceremonies can be "similar to drug-induced psychosis from cannabis use" and can cause previous mental health problems to resurface.

Mrs Mason said Mr Tilley had not been involved in these ceremonies for some weeks before his death, but he had smoked cannabis and could have been "suffering from some kind of psychosis".

A friend who saw him shortly before he died said he "appeared to be flicking personalities" and claimed to have been talking to spirits.

Mrs Mason concluded that Mr Tilley's death was accidental and suggested a big storm had contributed to it.

"It is whilst he was out there [near the waterfall] the weather deteriorated and he was reported missing when he failed to return," said Mrs Mason.

"It is believed that Joe Tilley fell to his death having become disorientated."

Mr Tilley had previously appeared in Jungletown, which followed an American entrepreneur and hundreds of young people as they attempted to create the world's "most sustainable modern town" in Panama.

The inquest heard he was an experienced traveller and left the UK to go travelling on 28 January. He travelled to Colombia but had also spent time in Ecuador.

Det Con Damian Young, of Leicestershire Police, said Mr Tilley had experimented with a hallucinogen called ayahuasca, which is also known as yage.

"He had been involved in a cleansing ceremony involving the poison of a kambo frog and had also been involved in a bufo toad ceremony," his report said.

Mr Tilley had been staying at a hostel near the waterfall before he died.

A friend described him as "acting weird" and "asking to find a shaman" before he wandered off.

"The last occasion she saw him was seeing him in the distance, walking towards the waterfall," said Mrs Mason as she summarised the police report.

Following a post-mortem examination his cause of death was given as injuries sustained as a result of a fall from a height.

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