Body not found for six years

The A45 at Earls Barton
The A45 at Earls Barton

A man’s remains were left by a busy roadside for six years until a chance discovery by a cyclist.

Philip John Holmes, 54, of Park Road, Wellingborough, went missing on August 29, 2005, and died an unexplainable death, an inquest has found.

He was only found six years later by a cyclist on a grass verge by the A45 near Clay Lane, Earls Barton.

Coroner Anne Pember, recording an open verdict, said: “There was no sign of any trauma but I am unable to say how this unfortunate man came to his death.”

She also said his death was not suspicious at the inquest on Thursday, July 19, in Kettering.

Forensic tests confirmed the remains were of Mr Holmes.

They were found by cyclist Tom Hadley, who said in a statement that he had broken down near some bushes on the A45 and went in to fetch some parts from an abandoned bike on August 30, 2011.

He said: “I noticed something by the fence and when I looked, I recognised it as a human skull.

“I also saw other larger bones, with clothing still attached.”

The inquest heard Mr Holmes had paranoid schizophrenia.

He was a resident at Jenny’s House care home in Park Road, Wellingborough, and it was while on a trip to Billing Aquadrome that he went missing.

His carers said he had ran off while at the park, and after a search they called the police.

Witnesses say they saw someone who fitted the description of Mr Holmes on the day he was reported as missing.

His sister, Elizabeth Deacon, spoke of her anguish. She said: “Since he went missing I have often thought about him and wondered where he was.”