Saturday, April 26, 2008

Disabled man's body found in suitcase

THE body of disabled man James Hughes was found in a suitcase in the garden of his home, police confirmed.

The suitcase was found among other items in the garden at Redditch, Worcestershire.

Superintendent Jane Horwood of West Mercia Constabulary said: "Contrary to some reports in the media, the suitcase was not found in or under a shed, or buried.

"It was concealed among other items in the garden."

The body was so badly decomposed dental records had to be used for formal identification.

A post mortem is under way to discover the cause of death and how long he had been dead, and is expected to take some time, police said.

A man and a youth, arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday, were released without charge yesterday.

Hughes, who had the mental age of an 18-month-old child, was found dead on Wednesday.

He and his mother Heather Wardle, 39, were both reported missing the previous Saturday.

Wardle's body was discovered at the base of a tree with a ligature around her neck on Monday night.

Her death is being treated as "unexplained".

Hughes, whose 22nd birthday was on Sunday, suffered from epilepsy, usually used a wheelchair and required constant care.

His father Paul paid tribute to his "beloved" son in a statement released yesterday.

"My son was the most beautiful of Mother Earth's creations that I have had the privilege to meet. His aura of happiness and mischief was plain for all to see," it said.

"Although he was 22 James retained the innocence of childhood and he was very, very precious. He was irreplaceable and it's left a massive hole in my life."


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