Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Joshua Hartley

Watchdog issues statement over death of Nottinghamshire dad who police said was "alive and well"

The police watchdog has issued a statement after a missing dad was found dead despite his relatives being told he was "alive and well". Police said that Lee Bowman, 44, from Ollerton, was "alive and well" on December 6 before his body was found on January 4 by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) officers in the Thurcroft area of Rotherham.

He had been living at Wellow Green homeless shelter in Newark when he went missing on the evening of October 31, 2021. However, days later SYP said that a missing person investigation had been launched following a report from Nottinghamshire Police that there had been sightings in the South Yorkshire area.

But SYP said enquiries established Mr Bowman was alive and well but that he did not wish to engage with police officers. "After the individual was located, and it was established he was alive and well, our investigation was closed," SYP said in early December.

Read more: Police find body in search for missing man Lee Bowman

However, Mr Bowman was again reported missing and a body was then found on January 4. SYP after Mr Bowman's death referred its handling of the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The policing watchdog then said SYP should investigate themselves, leading to reports that his family were calling for the IOPC to to directly carry out the investigation into the case. The IOPC has now issued a statement responding to the request for them to carry out a independent investigation.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “Our thoughts go out to all Lee Bowman’s family and friends following his tragic death. Our sympathy remains with them.

“After considering the available information in this case, we determined that an investigation into the operation to find Mr Bowman, and whether he might have been located sooner, was required.

"We directed the force to carry out this to ensure all aspects of their investigation were carried out thoroughly and will receive a copy of the investigator’s final report, which ensures an appropriate level of independent scrutiny of the matter.

“We receive more than 4,000 referrals a year, all of which are carefully assessed to determine the most suitable way for them to be dealt with.”

Before Mr Bowman had been found his daughter issued a heartbreaking plea for him to come home. His family had been searching the dad and handing out posters.

A spokesperson for SYP said: "The matter has been referred to our Professional Standards Department and the investigation is currently ongoing. We cannot make any further comment at this time until that has happened."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.