Body thought to be missing disabled man James Hughes

Police believe that a body found yesterday is that of severely disabled man James Hughes who went missing on Saturday.

The body was found at the family home in Loxley Close, Church Hill, Redditch, at about 2.30pm.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday afternoon and remain in custody at Redditch and Kidderminster police station.

Hughes was 22 but had a mental age of 18 months.

The body of his mother, Heather Wardle, 39, was found at the base of a tree on Monday with a ligature around her neck. Her death is being treated as unexplained. She also went missing on Saturday.

A postmortem examination of the body believed to be Hughes’s is continuing today, along with formal identification using dental records. Police are also speaking to friends and neighbours to build a picture of the family’s lifestyle. 

Hughes, who needed medication for epilepsy, was unable to communicate and used a wheelchair.

Supt Jane Horwood, of West Mercia police, said: “What started out as a missing persons inquiry has tragically become an investigation into two deaths. This is without doubt one of the saddest cases West Mercia Constabulary has dealt with.”



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