The family of a father-of-two found dead in a river months after he disappeared vowed “not to stop until we have the truth” after his seven-day inquest concluded with an open verdict today.

Coroner Andrew Walker said the precise events surrounding the death of car sprayer Ambrose Ball remained a mystery.

The 30-year-old had gone missing after a night out at The Fox pub in Palmers Green, Enfield, in January last year.

He was reported missing on January 24 when the wreckage of his car was found in Watermead Way, on the border of Tottenham and Walthamstow.

On April 22 his body was discovered in the River Lea.

At North London Coroners Court today Mr Walker concluded: “I will record an open conclusion in this inquest, I do not know the sequence of events that led to and caused Mr Ball’s death.”

Mr Ball’s mother, Ruth Lovell, shouted to the court that her son had been killed in The Fox.

On hearing Mr Walker’s conclusion, she said: “I’m not going to stop until I get the truth. I’m not going to end it there.”

She claimed people had lied and their lies had been believed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently investigating the way the police conducted their investigation in Mr Ball’s case.

Explaining his findings, Mr Walker told Mr Ball’s family he could not return a conclusion of unlawful killing.

He said: “I cannot record in this case unlawful killing, there simply isn’t the evidence that a jury properly directed could record a conclusion of unlawful killing. I am going to record a conclusion of open.”

Mr Walker said the court had heard evidence from police officers who discovered Mr Ball’s BMW that a helicopter equipped with a device to identify heat sources had been used to search the immediate area around the car.

But Mr Ball might not have been found then because he was too cold from being submerged in the river.

Medical evidence heard during the inquest supposed Mr Ball had drowned after immersion in cold water and that he would have died in less than three minutes of struggling in the freezing river.

Mr Walker said CCTV evidence and witness testimony had shown Mr Ball was drunk and high on cocaine, but not at the levels required to kill him.

It could have been possible that Mr Ball had left the wrecked car, stumbled towards the river and fallen in.

However, a witness to the crash stated he saw the damaged BMW. He then saw two men walk towards the vehicle and help the driver into a Golf.

Mr Walker said there was no “logical reason” that Mr Ball once away from the crash site would return to the area.

He also gave weight to the family’s claims that if Mr Ball had been alive he would have called them.

He said: “The most compelling evidence comes from members of the family themselves. Mr Ball was expected to contact you over the weekend and he hadn’t done so. Had he been alive it is likely he would have done so on January 24.”

Mr Walker continued: “Mr Ball died some point after the collision in Watermead Way. It is likely he died immersed in a body of water near the pallet yard, there are four possible routes from the crash site…

“Or was Mr Ball in the car when it was crashed? This has been the family’s concern all the time.”

But evidence had been heard from a friend of Mr Ball that he had indeed been driving the BMW.

During the period of time that Mr Ball’s movements could not be accounted for, Mr Walker said there was a possibility of “foul play”.

Mr Walker extended his sympathies to the family and praised their efforts to find out what really happened to Mr Ball.

He said: “I’m not immune to how difficult this process has been for you. You have come here each and every day and listened to evidence about someone obviously so dear to all members of the family.

“And I would like to offer my profound thanks. We are here in this position because of all the hard work members of the family have put in.

“Your relentless determination to get to the truth and to not allow yourselves to be diverted in anyway or by any person is a courageous position to adopt and one I admire.”