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Home   Dartford   News   Article

How Andrew Ebanks died on Dartford Heath will remain a mystery

09 December 2013
by Lizzie Massey

A man who died on Dartford Heath had just the keys to his sister’s home, a lighter, tissues, and 27p on him when he was found, an inquest heard.

Andrew Timothy Ebanks became depressed about eight years ago when his mother died.

The 40-year-old lost his job and his home so moved in with his sister, Sharon Ebanks.

Police at Dartford Heath after a body was found

Police at Dartford Heath after a body was found

He had no friends, did not drink or take drugs, and was never on the wrong side of the law, the inquest heard.

But in August he disappeared. Miss Ebanks reported him missing to police on September 1.

Postman Steven Sewell noticed Mr Ebanks sleeping rough in the bushes just off Shepherds lane, Dartford, a week before he was found dead.

Forensic officers at Dartford Heath

Forensic officers at Dartford Heath

On September 24, Mr Sewell realised the man had not changed his position for a few days and “decided he would check on him”.

Mr Ebanks, who was lying face down, was very thin and had clearly been dead for a few days.

A post mortem examination was carried out on October 1 at Darent Valley Hospital, but the cause of death could not be ascertained.

There was no suggestion he took him own life, or that anyone else was involved, the court heard.

The scene where a body was found along Shepherds Lane, Dartford

The scene where a body was found along Shepherds Lane, Dartford

Coroner Roger Hatch said: “Unfortunately we will not know how his death came about.

“I have no alternative but to record an open verdict.”

After the inquest Miss Ebanks, from Nunhead, London, said she was not sure why her brother was on the heath but they had a cousin in the area, who he may have been trying to find.

Police in Shepherds Lane, Dartford

Police in Shepherds Lane, Dartford

She added: “He was a very nice person, but just took it really badly with the death of my mum and couldn’t recover.

“I miss him every day. It’s quite hard work living with a depressed person but you’re always still hoping to be able to get them better.

 

Video: Police at Dartford Heath, where the body was found

“I loved him a lot and I really tried but sometimes love is just not enough.”

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