'Unanswered questions' over missing van and debit cards hang over Northampton man's death, say family

A family say they still have "many unanswered questions" over the death of 'lively' Northampton man whose van and debit cards were stolen around the time he died.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:40 am
Wayne was found dead at his flat in Tresham Green - but his family say there must have been someone with him around the time he died.

Wayne Appleby was found dead at his flat in Tresham Green, Ryehill, in February this year after co-workers noticed the normally hard-working 56-year-old had not turned up to work for several days.

At the father-of-two's inquest yesterday (December 11), the coroner heard how although Wayne had lived 'clean' for years, he died of a "drug-related accidental death" and bilateral pnemonia at the flat in the days before he was found.

But his family say they have been left with too many 'unanswered questions' over his death - including why his van and debit cards were gone when they found him.

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Meanwhile, they say a half-empty bottle of rose wine found in Wayne's lounge shows how someone must have been with him around the time he died.

Despite this, they say Northamptonshire Police has 'let them down' and have given them no updates on the investigation.

Speaking after the inquest, Wayne's stepfather Den Bracey told the Chronicle and Echo: "His van and his keys were missing. His debit card was gone and his mobile phone has never been found.

"There was a bottle of rose wine in his flat when he was found, and we know he doesn't drink that, which we think means someone was with him.

"We also know his van was seen on CCTV in Kingsthorpe.

"Despite all this, we've heard nothing about the investigation.

"We feel let down. It's like he doesn't exist to them."

In her conclusion, senior coroner Anne Pember said: "I don't think there was anything suspicious surrounding Wayne's death."

Mrs Pember entered Wayne's cause of death as a "drug-related accidental death".

Northamptonshire Police was contacted for a comment and was unable to provide an update on the investigation by the time of publication.

Wayne's sister, Gaynor Griffin, told the coroner in a statement: "Wayne presented as a lively, outgoing personality... Everyone would say what a character he was.

"He will be greatly missed by his family and everyone who knew him."