Body of missing man found in lorry confused for horror movie prop

Ian Roberts

The body of a missing man found in the back of a lorry was mistaken for a horror movie prop

Merseyside Police
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler


Published: 02/06/2023

- 17:32

The man was reported missing back in October last year

The body of a missing man found in the back of a lorry was mistaken for a horror movie prop.

Ian Roberts was reported missing in October 2022 with Merseyside Police issuing a plea to help locate him.


The 35-year-old was last seen in Warrington, Cheshire before he was found hanging in a lorry inside a compound.

But Roberts was not reported dead because the man who found him believed the body was a “dummy”.

Police tape

The 35-year-old was last seen in Warrington, Cheshire before he was found hanging in a lorry inside a compound

PA

Cheshire Coroner’s Court heard that the lorry had been previously used in a horror film set.

A witness had visited the compound, which was locked and secured with barbed wire, to check if the lorry was still fit to be driven.

When he arrived, he found the front window of the lorry had been smashed in, the curtain inside had also been cut and the engine wouldn’t start.

The witness then looked through the curtain and he spotted what he thought was a dummy that had been used in the film - but it was in fact Robert's body.

The court heard how the owner of the lorry then drove to London to try and get the engine to start.

Emergency services were called to School Brow, in Warrington, in December last year after reports that a man’s body had been found.

Roberts was pronounced dead on December 2.

A statement from his GP was read by Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy and confirmed that he had been seen on several occasions for anxiety and depression.

He was on prescribed treatment for his mental health and was put in contact with a crisis team after expressing suicidal thoughts on one occasion.

Emergency services were called to School Brow in Warrington in December last year after reports that a man’s body had been found

PA

But when contact was made again on various occasions to check in, he said he was not expressing suicidal thoughts and was depressed.

The court heard that a note was found in the lorry from Roberts which indicated his intention of ending his life and that it appeared he had been there for a “prolonged time”.

DCI Cassidy said that there were no suspicious circumstances around his death and Murphy concluded that Ian took his own life.

Murphy said: “I express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Ian Roberts for his untimely death.”

The Samaritans is available 24/7, they can be contacted for free by calling 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or via the website.

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