Body 'may have been in car for months'

A HALESWORTH man may have been dead for up to three months before his body was found in his car in Spain, an inquest heard.

A HALESWORTH man may have been dead for up to three months before his body was found in his car in Spain, an inquest heard yesterday.

James Woolnough's family became concerned for his safety when they had not heard from him for several weeks last autumn.

An inquest held in Lowestoft yesterday heard that his family alerted the authorities in Spain, where Mr Woolnough, 43, who was originally from Halesworth, had been living for some time, but he was not found.

Suffolk deputy coroner Yvonne Blake said that members of Mr Woolnough's family went to Spain to try and find him.


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She said: “Despite the family's stupendous efforts, including going to look for him themselves, efforts to trace him were unsuccessful.”

Mr Woolnough's body was eventually found in his car by a local resident, parked on an isolated track off a main road near Alcaniz, near Tereul in north east Spain, on October 23 last year.

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The Spanish civil guard and judicial police investigated his death and Ms Blake said that a report form the Spanish authorities stated that the body could have been in the car - an all-terrain vehicle - for between 75 and 90 days before it was discovered.

She said that carrying out an autopsy had been difficult because of the state of the body.

“We are unable to say with any exactitude how long he had been dead before he was found. It was very hot in Spain and he was inside a closed vehicle so his body was partially mummified. For those reasons, the cause of death is unspecified,” she said.

Ms Blake recorded an open verdict.

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