Family’s tribute to a loving dad

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The partner of a Biggleswade man whose body was found in a field five months after he went missing, has paid tribute to him.

There was a huge police and social media hunt for Wayne Jeffs after he went missing from his home on Shortmead Street on April 6 last year.

His body was found on August 12 in a field near Baden Powell Way, by a dog walker.

At an inquest at Ampthill on Wednesday, acting senior coroner Ian Pears said because of the state of his body after five months in the open it was not possible to know how Wayne had died.

Speaking after the inquest, his partner Carla Holbrook said: “Wayne may have led a hectic and troubled life at times but he was a hardworking, caring and loving son, brother, father to three children and partner to myself and he will be deeply missed by us all and many others.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that was involved in the searches for Wayne, and who gave donations and support through this terrible time.

“We hope we can all move on and remember Wayne for his good bits.”

Wayne, aged 29, went missing after a row with Carla on April 6.

Carla, who was pregnant with Wayne’s child, reported him missing the next day. The couple had been planning to get married on April 15 2017.

Their son was born in July.

DI Janine Graham, of Bedfordshire Police, said the case had been taken up by the force’s serious crimes unit because it was out of character for Wayne to go missing but there were concerns for his welfare.

She said the plasterer’s phone ‘went dead’ on April 7 and he had not accessed any bank accounts after he went missing.

Around 15-20 calls from the public about possible sightings had been “misguided” she said.

The family even hired a private investigator to track down any leads on what had happened to Wayne.

But Ms Graham told the inquest: “It is realistic to believe he died on April 6 or 7.”

The field in which Wayne’s body was found had produced a rape crop which is largely harvested at night.

The coroner said he had spoken to both the farmer and other farmers who confirmed it would have been easy not to spot a body and that the machinery used to harvest the crop is too high to have come in contact with the body.

A pathology report said is was not possible to confirm how or when Wayne had died.

Summing up, Mr Pears said it was likely Wayne had died on April 6 but because it was not possible to say exactly how he had died he was recording an open verdict.