Neighbours say they are “heartbroken” after human remains were found in the search for Huw Williams. The remains of the 25-year-old were found in January but have since been identified – and police are not treating the case as suspicious.
Originally from Chester, Mr Williams was last seen at his last-known address in Danethorpe Vale, in Sherwood, in May last year. Police and forensics searched a house on the street for 10 days as part of the investigation.
Detectives said Mr Williams went missing without his mobile phone, which was found smashed at his home. No further evidence was found after the search in Danethorpe Vale, and neighbours recalled seeing Mr Williams “working on horse boxes”.
Read more: Human remains found in search for missing man Huw Williams
His disappearance became a huge national news story and a widespread Nottinghamshire Police appeal for information generated dozens of new lines of enquiry. But the remains of Mr Williams were found in Gloucestershire in January.
For those living in Danethorpe Vale, the news seemingly marks the end of an ordeal which began on their doorstep and ended more than 100 miles away. People said Mr Williams seemed like a “nice chap” and that they were left saddened by the news. Noel Hicks, who is 68 and lives a few doors down from the search, recalled the police presence.
“I didn’t know him personally,” he said. “But I spoke to him a few times – he seemed a nice chap. It was a strange time when all the police were here last year, because nobody knew what was happening – they didn’t tell us. When my daughter told me they had found the remains, I couldn’t believe it. She read about it on the news.”
David Griffiths, who has lived in the area for the past 20 years, said: “I knew he was missing – it’s obviously really sad news to hear about, of course it is. It makes you wonder what happened to him. I remember all the police being here – I live a bit further away but I saw them here for a long time.”
Another Danethorpe Vale resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken to hear that. I had been fearing the worst, if I’m honest with you, but I always hoped he could be found somewhere. I didn’t know him very well, he kept himself to himself, but he seemed lovely. I know he had a big family and I can’t imagine what they must be thinking.
“It was obviously concerning when all the police were here. I think everyone was a bit on edge about it all. You can’t really go on as normal with all that going on.” Meanwhile Colin Daunt, 85, who has lived in the area for the past 50 years, said: “I hadn’t heard the news – we have been wondering about it. We saw him every now and again, but not a lot.”
Mr Williams, who had autism, was described by his family as a deeply caring and loving person who made friends easily. His dad Steve Williams issued a desperate plea just before Christmas in the hope of finding his son, who he said made “friends with everybody”. “That’s very much who he is and what makes him such a special person,” he said at the time.
Mr Williams leaves behind his dad Steve, mother Mary and three siblings: older sister Sarah, younger brother Ewan, and younger sister Eva. A vigil was held last year in Liverpool to raise awareness of Mr Williams’ disappearance.
An Instagram account was set up by a friend in a campaign to help find Mr Williams. The account, called @find.huw, has since been disabled. It was believed Mr Williams may have had links to Derbyshire. Nottinghamshire Police, however, are no longer classing Mr Williams as a missing person but said that their investigations were still ongoing into what happened to Huw.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Bull, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Our investigations are still ongoing but sadly we do believe these remains belong to Huw. We are not currently treating the discovery of these remains as involving any suspicious circumstances.
“Huw’s family has been informed and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. They have asked for privacy whilst they come to terms with this development. We are no longer classing Huw as a missing person and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”
Mr Williams was reported missing from his home in Sherwood on May 6 last year and police then listed him as a missing person, looking further into his disappearance and launching appeals for any information on his whereabouts. As part of their investigations, a 34-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. She was never charged in connection with Mr Williams’ disappearance.
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