Riddle Of Son Missing With His Mother's Body

Body of former Wimbledon lay preacher has vanished

A grieving son has apparantly vanished with the coffin containing the body of his mother, a former lay preacher at a Wimbledon church.

Gladys Whigham died of natural causes at the age of 91 while on holiday in Malta in September.

Her 56-year-old son, Nathaniel Whigham, was in Malta with her and her body was repatriated back to the UK in a zinc-lined coffin.

Mr Whigham, who had also been a member of the Trinity United Reform Church in Mansel Road, Wimbledon, is understood to have driven a car containing his mother's coffin to Kenmare in Ireland on October 4.

According to reports in the Irish press, the seal of the coffin was broken and her embalmed remains were then laid out in an upstairs room at a house they had rented since Easter. They had previously lived together in Oxford Road, Putney, until the end of 2009.

On October 14 an Irish coroner gave Mr Whigham a four-day deadline to either bury or cremate the body, or it would be confiscated and put in cold storage.

But when Irish police called at the house on October 18, there was no sign of either Mr Whigham or his mother's body, and their current whereabouts remain a mystery.

As well as her church activity, Mrs Whigham was very active in the community. She had been secretary, chairman and president of the Wandsworth branch of the Parkinson Disease Society during a 40-year period.

November 11, 2010