Police have issued an apology to the family of a missing man whose body lay undiscovered for three years.
Officers launched a search for Gerald Frost in 2017 after he went missing from his home in Baddeley Green.
Despite sightings of the 61-year-old in Longport and on a bus route to Leek detectives were unable to locate him.
However, on September 16 last year, the mental health worker was found dead after a locksmith was called out to open the garage at his mother-in-law’s Milton home which was being put up for sale.
The police had attended the residence as part of their inquiries – but had never looked in the garage.
An inquest into Mr Frost’s death held this week found there were failings in the investigation.
Staffordshire Police have since carried out an internal investigation into their handling of Mr Frost’s disappearance.
In a statement to StokeonTrentLive, a spokesman said: “We acknowledge that there were failings in our investigation into the disappearance of Gerald Frost, who went missing in 2017.
“The matter was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
“An investigation was subsequently held within force and following internal recommendations, we have addressed the issues raised by the coroner and made changes to the way we conduct missing person inquiries.
“The IOPC was satisfied with the investigation and made no recommendations to the force.
“We have apologised to Gerald Frost’s family and we offer them our sincere condolences.”
The inquest heard Mr Frost had last been seen by his wife Andrea on September 18, 2017 at their home in Wallis Way.
He told her he was going to work – but never returned.
In the months before his death, Mr Frost had been off work due to depression.
His employer Approach had started disciplinary hearings against him and paperwork relating to this was found next to his body.
In a statement, Mr Frost’s wife Andrea said her husband’s body was only discovered because she decided to sell the home after her mother went into a care home.
North Staffordshire area coroner Emma Serrano recorded a conclusion of suicide.
She gave his cause of death as an overdose of an unknown medication.
She also stated that she was satisfied that the issues raised by the police had now been addressed.
She added: “The garage should have been checked. It is not possible to say if it would have made any difference to Gerald as we don’t know the exact time he passed away.
“Issues that the police have raised in relation to any potential failures have been dealt with by the police. In my view there is no risk of any further deaths resulting due to the same failures in 2017.”