Dear Ann, I'm so very sorry to hear this news. That is heartbreaking for your family even though the story has at least come to a conclusion. Please accept sincerest condolences and sympathy to all your family. I think the information will make many people feel very sad and concerned. I do hope that some lessons can be learned from it somehow, for all of us and especially for everyone caring for someone with dementia. With love, Deborah
I am so sorry to hear about John. His poster has been up in our reception since he went missing (I know we are a long way away and it was a long shot but you never know) and people are always asking me if there is any news.
It's not the news we hoped for, but probably the news you expected. I hope you and the family find some comfort in the fact that he has been found.
Thank you everyone for your condolences. I promised more details when I discovered them ... here's what I now know.
The police exercise was specific training in search techniques. They decided to use John's case as it was something definite for the trainees to search for. He was found in undergrowth, less than a mile from home. This was within the original search area, but I understand that the summer vegetation which was concealing his body had died off and so he was more obvious. He was found on Saturday afternoon, but because of bad weather and low light conditions his body wasn't retrieved until Sunday. I don't know what the condition of his body was, but I do know that some of his personal effects were in a good enough condition to be returned to his family. Most poignantly, his watch was still ticking.
The autopsy was carried out on Monday and the coroner has now released John's body as "no foul play" is suspected. I haven't heard if a formal cause of death has been determined ... I don't know if they can do that so long after his death. I also don't know if they have (or can) determine what happened between the time he went missing and the time he died. I do get the sense, however, that he died fairly quickly.
John's funeral will be later this week. I am putting together all of your messages of condolence to take to his wife and daughter. They know of the support you have given them and I would like them to have a reminder of that.
On our part, we're just so grateful that we can now have a normal grieving process. It's the small things that get me ... taking John's name off my Christmas card list ... seeing my Mum's eyes fill up when she saw one of the missing posters I had put up around Winchester ...