Wayne Jeffs: Partner and father pay heartfelt tributes to Biggleswade plasterer found dead after four months missing
- Credit: Archant
The partner and father of Biggleswade’s Wayne Jeffs have paid heartfelt tributes to him after his body was found at the weekend – four months after he went missing.
The 29-year-old plasterer went out to go to the shops on April 6, but never returned – with subsequent searches and appeals by the police and the wider community turning up nothing.
On Saturday – barely a fortnight after Carla gave birth to their son Jack – his family learned that a body had been found in a field off Baden Powell Way, in the King’s Reach area of Biggleswade.
Police have not yet formally identified the deceased or a cause of death, waiting until a post-mortem can be carried out next week.
But Carla said the heavily-decomposed body was found with the same clothes and belongings that Wayne had on him when he vanished – including a distinctive hoody bearing the name of his workplace in Henlow, NG Bruce Plastering.
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Mum-of-two Carla, who had been engaged to marry Wayne, told the Comet today that she was at least glad she had not received the awful news before Jack was born on July 27.
She said: “Nothing could have prepared us for the devastating news of Wayne being found.
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“In a way I’m glad we got it now, after I’ve had Jack, rather than before. If it had been before, it would have been even more traumatising.
“The lack of sleep I’m having now – if that had been when I was still heavily pregnant, it could have been extremely bad. I’ve got to keep myself together.
“Jack really reminds me of Wayne. He’s the spitting image of him.”
The full-time mum also has 10-year-old Cadey, from a previous relationship, and Wayne had a seven-year-old son called Kenzie.
Carla, 30, said she found out a body had been found through social media, and that police only came to see her after she called them.
She said: “I found out through Facebook that a body had been found in Biggleswade. I called the police about it, and within an hour an officer had come round to see us.
“I just felt devastated. The officer said he was wearing the same blue hooded top, blue joggers and black Nike trainers that Wayne had, and that the same belongings as what Wayne had had were recovered from the scene.
“It’s an exact match. We put two and two together – he’s not far from where he was last sighted. It’s him.”
The body of her partner of six years was found by a dog walker, in the middle of a field off a regular route that had recently been cut.
Carla said: “The body was quite decomposed and the clothes were faded – so that would indicate he died quite soon after he went missing.
“Also, he’s in the same clothes – if it was more recently that he died, surely he would have changed what he was wearing.
“We haven’t actually got any closure. Every time there was a sighting reported, about once a week, it would give us a glimmer of hope – so I suppose we do at least have that.
“But we’ve got so many unanswered questions. How did he die, how long was he there, and a lot more besides – and those are questions we will probably never have answered.”
The dog walker who found Wayne’s body actually knew who he was – and since the weekend, he has met Wayne’s dad Peter Jeffs.
Carla said: “The fact that this man knew who Wayne was perhaps shows how popular and loved he was in Biggleswade.
“It must have been incredibly traumatising for him, what he saw – I can’t even imagine what he saw or how he must be feeling.”
She said she would like to thank the dog walker and everyone who has supported her over the past four months – particularly the private detective who assisted her through the ordeal free of charge.
Carla has launched an online fundraiser to help give Wayne the kind of send-off he would have wanted.
She said: “It’s not going to be a sad affair – our children will be there, and Wayne wouldn’t want people to be sad. He’d want people to be laughing and joking with each other. That was Wayne.
“He once said to me you couldn’t play drum and bass and jungle music in the crematorium and cry. It’s going to be more of a celebration of his life.
“I might have to get a case of Special Brew in for it – Wayne liked his Special Brew, and he just loved life.”
Peter Jeffs added: “I wouldn’t have had Wayne any other way. He just loved life, and was always happy and joking. He always liked a beer, and he never took anything too seriously.”
In a card at the scene, Carla wrote to her fiancé: “Wayne, you were my best friend and partner for six years.
“I’ve shared so many happy times together and I will remember forever.
“I will never forget you and I have Jack to remember you by.
“I love you with all my heart and my heart is breaking I will never see or speak to you again.
“Please look down on us and keep us safe. Love you always and forever.”
You can donate towards Wayne’s funeral at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/waynejeffs.
Police have said that the death is not being treated as suspicious and will be passed to the coroner in due course, with formal identification to be made following a post-mortem.