The heartbroken parents of an American student who died in his city centre flat have paid glowing tribute to their son - and urged people to reach out to others who might be struggling.

Sam Crowley was found dead in the earlier hours of April 13 in Sentinel House in Norwich, where he lived while studying film at Norwich University of the Arts.

The 24-year-old was born in Hackensack in New Jersey, USA, on April 29, 1999, but had relocated to Brighton before starting at NUA.

Eastern Daily Press:

Following the opening of an inquest into his death, his parents Ben Crowley and Karolena Bingaman described their heartbreak at the loss of their son.

Mr Crowley said: "He was a very happy-go-lucky cheeky kid growing up who had such a lot about him - but that got crushed out of him after he left high school.

"He was fraught with worry and I think did find it quite hard to make friends in Norwich.

"He was a very, very bright kid who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of military history, uniforms and equipment."

Eastern Daily Press:

Mr Crowley shared fond memories of living with his son in New Jersey and visiting beauty spots - where Sam would particularly enjoy stargazing.

He said one of his favourite spots to share with his son was Schooley's Mountain Park in Long Valley, where they would take hikes, admire waterfalls and watch the skies together.

He said: "He was always a big wayfinder and used to say driving under the stars was like driving through space.

"He had a working understanding of Mandarin and Russian, which he taught himself, and had a sophisticated understanding of political issues behind events."

Eastern Daily Press:

Ms Bingaman, his mother, said: "Sam was the sweetest kid on the planet and leaves behind his beloved sister Mimi, his heartbroken mother and his devastated father.

"He kept all his pain inside because he didn't want to burden anybody - I am heartbroken and want my Sammy back.

"I would have done anything to save him, but I didn't get the chance, 

"He was my everything  - my heart and soul - but was too sensitive for the world sometimes. I'm lost without him."

Eastern Daily Press:

Meanwhile, his father made a heartfelt plea for people to reach out to anybody who might be struggling - rather than waiting for them to go looking for help.

He said: "I think some people don't understand that there is a point when you still have your pride and don't want to reach out - Sam was desperately lonely.

"But people can be judgmental and superficial and write others off as being weird if they do say they're not okay.

"People have got to reach out to others and be more proactive - be outgoing, be welcoming to others, be kind and be a good person.

"So many people just disappear into their own worlds, particularly with social media, without real human interaction.

"If there is a message to what has happened, I hope it is that - this is something I hope I can do for my son."

During a short hearing opening his inquest, area coroner Samantha Goward said the medical cause of his death was hanging.

Eastern Daily Press:

The film student was found at around 3.30am in a flat he shared with his sister while he was carrying out his studies.

Mrs Goward adjourned the case for a full inquest, which is scheduled to be held at 2pm on August 12.

Do you need support? Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, the NHS First Response Services is available 24/7 on 111 selecting option 2.