The kitchen fitter - played by 50-year-old Reece Dinsdale - will apparently die in a sailing incident towards the end of the year when his boat 'Gailforce' - named after his lover Gail Platt (Helen Worth) - sinks while he's still aboard.
A source told The Sun: "There were lots of plans for Joe's character so it was a shame he wanted to leave.
"Now they're going to bump him off dramatically. After he snubbed their offer the last thing the bosses were going to do was leave the door open."
Last month, it was announced that Dinsdale was to quit the ITV soap over typecast fears, turning down a £100,000-a-year pay deal in the process.
He is now said to be in talks with Strictly Come Dancing.