Missing Cyclist Found Dead After Falling from Cliff in Italy: 'I Am Just So Broken,' Brother Says

Steven Harper's brother said he believes the fall was "possibly due to disorientation caused by mushroom toxins," though the cause remains unclear at this time

<p>Stevie Harp/Facebook</p> Steven Harper

Stevie Harp/Facebook

Steven Harper
  • Steven Harper, 38, has been found dead after going missing during a planned cycling trip to India last year

  • His brother Dave was not informed that Steven's body had been found until late December, according to reports

  • Dave wrote on Facebook that he believes his brother ingested possibly dangerous mushrooms before his death on Nov. 23

A Scottish cyclist who went missing in Europe last year has been found dead after falling off a cliff in Italy.

Steven Harper, 38, fell off the cliff near Ventimiglia in Italy in November while on a cycling trip from Dundee to India, according to the BBC, Sky News and The Telegraph.

According to the BBC, his brother Dale said that Steven may have eaten possibly dangerous mushrooms after he was robbed of his bike and other belongings in Nice, France.

Dale said in a Facebook post on Sunday that his brother "mentioned preparing a meal with mushrooms and noodles before sleeping" in his last known message on Nov. 23.

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"Steven might have ingested dangerous mushrooms containing deadly Amatoxin, which could lead to severe illness and potentially death," he wrote.

The BBC and Sky News reported that Dale traveled to France last month to try to find Steven. But he was not informed that Steven's body had been found until late last month, per the reports. He then flew out in January to identify him.

"The search ended in heartbreak with the discovery of Steven's body in Italy," Dale wrote on Facebook. "He had enough resources to survive but might have made a fatal mistake with the mushrooms."

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Italian authorities said that Steven was seen falling from the cliff on Nov. 23, per The Telegraph and the BBC. Workers at a building site nearby then rushed to his aid, according to reports.

Steven was airlifted via helicopter and pronounced dead a short time later. His body was kept in a morgue, the BBC reported.

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"I was left to grapple with the loss, the responsibility of identifying his body, and the realization of his final moments in a place he loved," Dale wrote.

Dale shared that he believes the fall was "possibly due to disorientation caused by mushroom toxins," though the exact cause remains unclear at this time. He told Sky News that the family is waiting for a toxicology report.

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Dale told Sky News that he's "proud" of his brother, but "I am just so broken knowing he's not there anymore."

The U.K.'s Foreign, Commonwealth, & Development Office told PEOPLE in a statement on Tuesday that the agency is working with the "family of a British national who died in Italy and are in contact with the local authorities."

"I take comfort in knowing he was doing what he wanted to do, wasn’t wanting for anything, was surrounded by people in his last moments in a place he always said he had wanted to die," Dale wrote on Facebook.

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