Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Body Found in the Search for James; Two Arrested on Suspicion of Murder

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Body Found in the Search for James; Two Arrested on Suspicion of Murder

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Dawson

POLICE searching for a missing disabled man last night said they had found a body and arrested two men on suspicion of his murder.

James Hughes, 22, who needs 24-hour care, has been missing since the weekend.

A body was discovered at a property in the Church Hill area of Redditch, Worcestershire, yesterday afternoon.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently helping police with their inquiries at police stations in Kidderminster and Redditch.

A post-mortem examination is under way to establish the cause of death.

Superintendent Jane Horwood said: "Two men have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of James Hughes and are currently helping police with their inquiries at Kidderminster and Redditch police stations."

Mr Hughes, who has the mental age of an 18-month-old child, and his mother, 39-year-old Heather Wardle, were reported missing from their home in Loxley Close in Church Hill on Saturday.

Local teenagers found Ms Wardle's body in an area of dense undergrowth off Winyates Way, just minutes from the family home. She was found on Monday with a ligature around her neck at the base of a tree.

Detectives believe she is likely to have died within 24 hours of the last public sighting of her late on Friday.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: "A post-mortem took place on Tuesday afternoon and, while the results of toxicology tests are awaited, police are today able to confirm Heather was found with a ligature around her neck at the base of a tree."

Ms Wardle's partner, Brian Kirby, paid tribute to her as a "brilliant mother" who doted on her children.

In a statement released by police, Mr Kirby said he was "devastated" to learn of her death. He said he had been Ms Wardle's long-term partner after getting to know her when she moved next door to his sister almost 16 years ago.

He then moved in with her and they were engaged within a year, although they never married. …

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