A man who mysteriously vanished for three years was found lying dead on the floor of a home surrounded by wine and his medication, an inquest has heard.
Police launched a search for Gerald Frost in 2017 after he went missing from his home in the Baddeley Green area of Stoke-on-Trent.
According to reports at the time, police believed the-then 58-year-old could have been in the Blackpool area.
Despite sightings of him in Longport, in Stoke-on-Trent, and on a bus route to Leek, to the north east, detectives at Staffordshire Police never managed to locate him.
Mr Frost was found dead, aged 61, at a property in Baddeley Green Lane on September 10, an inquest at Stoke Civic Centre heard.
He had been there some time, it was said at the inquest.
Police launched a search for Gerald Frost in 2017 after he went missing from his home in the Baddeley Green area of Stoke-on-Trent
North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said: 'On September 16 in Baddeley Green Lane, Baddeley Green, Gerald was found lying on the floor.
'He was lying on the floor surrounded by his medication and wine.
'It appears he had been missing for three years.
'An inquest has now been opened.'
A Staffordshire Police spokesperson confirmed the force has now referred itself to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).
A spokesman said: 'Following the initial investigation we referred ourselves - as is mandatory - to the IOPC.
'Their decision was that it was returned to the force for a local investigation. This is ongoing.'
The inquest has now been adjourned to a later date.
Mr Frost was found dead, aged 61, at a property in Baddeley Green Lane (pictured: Google Street view of the road) on September 10, an inquest at Stoke Civic Centre heard
In reports at the time of his disappearance, Mr Frost was described by police as white, 5ft 10in tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a beard.
He had last been seen wearing a purple jumper, a maroon coat, blue/grey trousers, a flat cap and dark shoes.
Two weeks into the search, police released a CCTV image of Mr Frost in Bargain Booze, in Derby Road, Leek.
The picture was captured on September 18, 2017, on the same day he was spotted in Longport.
It was reported by the Stoke Sentinel at the time that police believed Mr Frost had later caught a bus from Leek, but it was not known where he was heading.