Family of a man from near Dunmow who was missing for three months say they have closure after inquest

PUBLISHED: 17:49 02 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:49 02 June 2016

Gordon Wilson with family (Left to right) Kirsty, Gillian, Scott, Lesley and Mhairi

Gordon Wilson with family (Left to right) Kirsty, Gillian, Scott, Lesley and Mhairi

Archant

The family of Leading Roding man Gordon Wilson say they now have a sense of closure following the inquest into his death today (Thursday, June 2).

Gordon Wilson in NorwayGordon Wilson in Norway

Mr Wilson, who suffered from vascular dementia, went missing from his home on Sunday, October 25, and it was nearly three months before his body was found in Sible Hedingham.

At the inquest at Essex Coroner’s Court in Chelmsford, the court heard how the 82-year-old’s body was found badly decomposed in a wooded area at Peppers Farm, Forrey Green, in the Essex village on Saturday, January 23.

Senior coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley-Murray returned an open verdict and said exact cause of death could not be determined due to the condition of the body.

Essex Police detective inspector Jim White told the court that the police were satisfied that there were no suspicious circumstances in Mr Wilson’s death.

Gordon Wilson's daughters Gillian Wilson and Lesley Rankin search for signs of their father in Halstead.Gordon Wilson's daughters Gillian Wilson and Lesley Rankin search for signs of their father in Halstead.

Mr Wilson’s daughters, Lesley Rankin, 54, and Gillian Wilson, 49, said after the inquest they believed their father may have got lost while out walking.

Mrs Wilson said: “It’s good to finally tie all the loose ends together and get a sense of closure.

“We’ll never know exactly what happened, but it’s good to know that it has all now come together with the police investigation and the process of it all.

“My dad liked to go walking and I think he just got confused about his whereabouts. He was found not that far from the farm building and was following a trail, but it seems he just took a wrong turn.”

Mrs Rankin said that on two previous occasions she had been forced to collect her father after he had got confused.

She said: “A nice lady found him on the roundabout in Chelmsford and took him to Chelmsford Police Station where I had to go and get him.

“On another occasion he had also tried to drive north, and we think he was trying to get back to Scotland where he was from.

“He was found at a petrol station in Preston and he had forgotten how to fill his car up. We took his car away from him after that, and it wasn’t long after that he went missing.” Mrs Rankin said she had gone to pick her father up from his home to take him for a Sunday roast on October 25.

She said she was surprised when he was not there at 4pm and waited 20 minutes before calling the police. Mr Wilson was seen on CCTV at Chelmsford bus station at 12.30pm on the same day, before boarding the 352 First Bus service to Halstead.

The driver of the bus says a man fitting his description got off at the final stop at Halstead and began walking in the direction of Butler Road.

Witnesses believe they saw Mr Wilson in Sible Hedingham between 2pm and 4pm that afternoon.

Concluding, the coroner said: “I am returning an open verdict as there is no evidence for any other conclusion.

“He might have fallen, it might have been an accident, he might have died of natural causes, we just don’t know.

“I would like to express my condolences to the family.”

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