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  1. #1
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    UK - James Hughes, 22, Redditch, Worcestershire, Feb 2008

    Disabled Boy's "Desperate Mother" is found dead after vanishing three days ago, but where is he?

    Daily Mail- London
    April 23, 2008


    A devoted mother driven to despair by looking after her severely handicapped son has been found dead, three days after they both went missing.
    Heather Wardle, 39, left her home on Friday saying she was going to visit a friend but never arrived.
    Her body was discovered hidden in undergrowth on Monday night.
    But her son James Hughes, 22, who has the mental age of an 18-month-old, is still missing and police have grave fears for his safety.

    SNIP

    He suffers from a number of health problems including epilepsy, uses a wheelchair, needs round-the-clock attention and cannot fend for himself.
    Last night 50 officers and a police helicopter were continuing to search for him.
    He disappeared the same day as his mother, but police have yet to establish for certain that they left together.
    When Miss Wardle was last sighted she was on her own.

    Police, who described the case as "very unusual", said it is "not clear" when James was last seen. It was his birthday on Sunday.
    Teenagers playing in a park found Miss Wardle's body on Monday evening half a mile from the home she shared with her partner and her three other children in Redditch, Worcestershire.

    Police said the constant attention James needs had put her under "tremendous strain".
    Her exhausting daily routine included washing and feeding him.

    Superintendent Jane Horwood of West Mercia Police said: "While we have been able to establish that Heather was last seen at about 6pm on Friday, it is not clear when James was last seen.
    "We are therefore trying to find out more about both Heather's and James's movements over the last few months.

    "We are trying to put together a picture of their lives and we want to hear from anyone who knew either of them."
    She added: "Heather was James's main carer and her family tell us she was a fantastic mother.
    "However, looking after another person - however much that person is loved - round the clock inevitably takes its toll and we can only imagine what tremendous strain Heather was under.

    "This is a very unusual case, but we must stress that at this stage it is still an inquiry into an unexplained death and a missing person."

    James was in regular contact with his father, Paul Hughes, also of Redditch.
    Mr Hughes, who runs a building firm, said yesterday: "I am on tenterhooks and am sick with worry.
    "James is very vulnerable and we would urge anyone who has seen him, or has any information at all, to please get in touch with the police.

    "We are all in bits and praying he is safe. I was absolutely gutted when I heard the news about Heather.
    "She was an absolutely amazing mother and must have been in a very dark place to do something like that. I have spoken to her recently but I had no inkling she was going to do something like this.
    "But that is all I can say."

    Miss Wardle's second son Daniel, 18, is from another previous relationship. Callum, eight, and Luke, six, are the children of her current partner Brian Kirby, 36, a moulder.

    They have been together for 16 years but are not married.
    Mr Kirby was too distressed to comment yesterday.


    SNIP- MUCH more at link- sad story


    This does not sound good. This was in today's UK paper, but he has already been missing a while now. Sounds like maybe she ssnapped after having to take care of him for so long and she hurt him and then herself? Hopefully there will be a good outcome, but unfortunately, since he has the mind of an infant, it doesnt sound good. We cant forget that we lost her also. Until we find out if he is OK, I am saddened ny her death as well. She sounded like a wonderful womean that was liked by many. I will look for more info or post if they find him-

    Hi KBUK and tempus if you're catching this

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...e_id=1770&ct=5

  2. #2
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    She killed herself? I can't imagine where the son must be? He has the mind of an 18 month old so I doubt he could of just up and walked out not to mention he was in a wheel chair. Something is definately up ...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mygirlsadie View Post
    She killed herself? I can't imagine where the son must be? He has the mind of an 18 month old so I doubt he could of just up and walked out not to mention he was in a wheel chair. Something is definately up ...
    I know , that poor baby- he is in a wheel chair also- I hope for as much as she loved him, she left him in someones care.

  4. #4
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    This one doesn't sound good to me either.

  5. #5
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    I would think IMO, that if she killed her son she would have wanted them to find him with her or near her to have a funeral together. She may have taken him to a home/rehabilitation center kind of thing and dropped him off there. If he is of a 18 month old, they may not have the ability to identify him. Just thinking out loud.

  6. #6
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    Im at work, so shhh, but I was thinking that maybe she left him in some type of rehab. I havent had a chance to check UK papers yet, but will do at lunch

  7. #7
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    The title of the thread says she was murdered. I was under the impression she took her own life.


  8. #8
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    Oh, good catch, lizzybeth. That's what I thought (suicide) when I read the article last night on the site.

  9. #9
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    R.I.P. Heather and bless her.

    bless, too, her son James. how sad, sad, sad. i can't believe he'll be found alive, whatever happened.

    his birthday was on Sunday . . .

    sorry, too, for her partner and other children who have suffered such loss, whatever the circumstances.

  10. #10
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    Just found this:

    Missing disabled boy: Police find body and arrest two men on suspicion of his murder

    Police hunting a severely disabled boy tonight revealed they have found a body.

    In a dramatic development, an officer also confirmed that they have arrested two men on suspicion of the murder of 22-year-old James Hughes, who went missing with his mother last week.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...e_id=1770&ct=5

    But tonight, police scouring the area for her missing son, who has the mental age of an 18-month-old, said they had found a body at a house in the Church Hill area of Redditch.

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

    It has also emerged that police have sealed off Loxley Close, the street where Miss Wardle and her son lived.


    B*st*rds!


  11. #11
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    Please read the comments section which damns Britain's social service help for carers.

    heartbreaking.

    it's not so hard for Germans. but it is hard.

    i have no idea what the circumstances are for help to Americans?

  12. #12
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    April, 2008.

    Government says 28 Remploy factories will close or merge

    http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/late...close-or-merge

    Anyone have any idea how America helps the disabled?

    do we care?

    i know, i just know, i will be helping my family when the time comes for our elderly members. i haven't had to help anyone in my family who is younger. so it is.

  13. #13
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    I know y'all have heard, just wanted to post this also:

    After missing mother is found hanged, police discover body of her disabled son buried in the garden

    Daily Mail
    April 23, 2008


    severely disabled man reported missing with his mother five days ago was found dead last night.


    The body of James Hughes, 22, is thought to have been buried in his family's back garden.

    The discovery came less than 48 hours after his mother Heather Wardle, 39, was found hanged in woodland half a mile from their home in Redditch, Worcestershire.

    Last night two men were arrested on suspicion of murder as some neighbours claimed they had not seen James for months.

    They said James, who had a mental age of 18 months and needed 24-hour care, spent most of his time in his bedroom.

    A social services bus which took him to a nearby centre for people with learning difficulties had stopped calling several weeks ago.

    Hours before the arrests, James's stepfather Brian Kirby released a statement through the police describing how his relationship with Miss Wardle had undergone problems in recent months.

    Mr Kirby, 36, did not mention James, but said he was devastated by his partner's death and described her as a 'brilliant' mother who doted on her four children.

    Soon afterwards, forensics experts arrived at the family home and began searching the property.

    Mr Kirby was not at the cordoned-off house and could not be contacted.

    Miss Wardle disappeared on Friday after saying she was going to meet friends. She was reported missing by Mr Kirby on Saturday morning.

    Her body was found on Monday night at the base of a tree.

    Police said the exhausting attention James needed - his mother had to wash and feed him every day - had put her under 'tremendous strain'.

    Although he could walk short distances, he tended to stumble and usually used a wheelchair. He needed help to get in and out of it.
    He had a hearing impairment, could not feed himself or even communicate that he was hungry, and did not usually respond to his name.

    James was due to have celebrated his birthday on Sunday and a small family celebration had been planned.

    A 'Happy Birthday' banner had been hung in the front room and James's father Paul Hughes, 41, had been due to see him over the weekend.

    Some local people said they saw James last week, but others said they had not seen him for months. Linda Parkes said Miss Wardle had asked social services to stop providing help to her son weeks before his disappearance.

    Miss Wardle shared the family home with her 18-year-old son, Daniel, from another previous relationship, and two sons by Mr Kirby, Callum, eight and six-year-old Luke.

    Mr Kirby, a tool-room supervisor for an automotive company, said in his statement through police that his relationship with Miss Wardle had encountered problems in recent months, but added that she had helped him to get over the death of his father in March.

    He also said he was shocked by the manner of her death and that his sons had been distraught when he broke the news to them.

    Mr Kirby said: "It's heartbreaking. It's very hard to accept and take in. That wasn't the Heather I know.

    "It's hurting me and the kids are also heartbroken and desperately missing her. It's absolutely terrible and she will be sorely missed.

    "Heather was a chatty, bubbly person who was full of character and got on well with neighbours and my family.

    "She was very house-proud and despite the demands placed on her in looking after James around the clock always ensured that all her children were clean and well clothed.

    "She was an excellent mother and really lovely. She was great, she was my star."

    The couple met nearly 16 years ago when Miss Wardle moved next door to Mr Kirby's sister in Redditch.

    They moved in together soon afterward and were engaged within a year, although they never married.

    Miss Wardle had worked as a press operator for an engineering company near her home but gave it up when she became pregnant with Callum.

    Recently she had been considering going back to work as a respite carer, having had direct experience with James.

    Before the arrests, the family house was guarded by a single police community support officer and police tape blocked access to the front gate.

    But at 6.15pm the whole row of terraces was sealed off and search and forensic teams moved in.

    Superintendent Jane Horwood said: "The body was discovered this afternoon at a property in the Church Hill area. Officers have cordoned off the immediate area.

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

    "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."

    Before the street was cordoned off, floral tributes were left outside the family home.

    One said: "You're at peace now babe, Love and miss you so much, all our love forever."
    Another simply said: "You will be missed."



    To me, it sounds like maybe mom's hubby killed them. They werent getting along, and Im sure he was jealous of the time she devoted to him, and he snapped. From everything I read, she was COMPLETELY devoted to caring for him. It was her son. Who wouldnt? Unfortunately, some a** and a friend thought it would be easier to get rid of them both.

    I aplogoize for thinking she may have had enough and comitted murder/suicide. God bless both their souls, and may he be out of pain forever.

  14. #14
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    How horrible! I am speechless.

    Chicogirl, I'll just "ditto" your last line. Thanks for the info.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzybeth View Post
    The title of the thread says she was murdered. I was under the impression she took her own life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taximom View Post
    Oh, good catch, lizzybeth. That's what I thought (suicide) when I read the article last night on the site.

    Sorry ladies- I tried to fix the thread title, but it wouldnt let me- I copied/pasted, so they must have edited the article over night . I apologize for mis-leading anyone else on also.

    For some strange reason, I dont think this is the end of the story. Why would such a loving mother take her life and leave 3 other children? One was almost 18 IIRC, and the other two ar something like 6 and 8. They also happen to be step-dad's kids.

    I just dont buy it. Anyone can stage a hanging if they have the right knowledge. IMO

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