Body found in Romford

The body of Gary Cornwall, who went missing from his Harold Hill home a year ago, has been discovered in lonely scrubland by a 15-year-old boy – just five minutes’ walk away.

Gary’s body was found in thickets off the southbound lane of the A12, near Gallows Corner, Romford, on Friday of last week. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Gary, who would have been 39, left his family home in Smart Close at 1pm, on September 9, 2010. He switched off his mobile phone before he left and was never heard from again. But his body has lain just a short walk from the red-bricked semi he shared with mum Margaret Cornwall.

Just two weeks ago, police ran an anniversary appeal in the Recorder urging the former roofer to get in touch.

The family was this week too upset to speak at length, but sister Debbie said Gary “would be sadly missed and was always missed in the last year.”


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She added that relatives had clung to hope he would one day walk through the door.

Gary had been stricken with severe depression after suffering a stroke five years previous - aged just 33.

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It had been made worse when he recently developed arthritis, Margaret had said.

“I’m afraid for his state of mind; he hasn’t been well,” she told the Recorder a few weeks after he vanished. “He knows there are people here for him. I’m here for him.

“We have absolutely no idea where he might have gone. He’s disappeared without trace.”

Friends and family launched various manhunts across the borough and his known haunts in Essex, including parks and fishing spots.

Margaret said Gary needed extensive medication - up to ten tablets a day - to deal with the effects of his illnesses.

A lone policeman stood guard at the spot where Gary was found for two days while forensics officers examined the scene.

“Police were called to decomposed human remains in a field near Gallows Corner,” a spokesman for Havering Police said. “The circumstances of the death are not thought to be suspicious.”

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