21 04 2008

Plea to mother missing with her disabled son

21 April 2008

Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=560942&in_page_id=1770

Police spoke of their growing concern yesterday for the safety of a mother and her disabled son who disappeared just before his birthday.

Heather Wardle, 39, and her son James had not been seen since 6pm on Friday, when she said she was walking to a friend’s house in Redditch, Worcestershire.

James, who was 22 yesterday, is epileptic and has the mental age of an 18-month-old child.

Police say he requires constant care, has difficulty walking and communicating, and has no sense of danger.

Miss Wardle, who did not take her mobile phone with her, is said to have been feeling under pressure before her disappearance.

Detective Inspector John Marsden said her partner Brian Kirby and their other children Daniel, 18, Callum, eight, and Luke, six, were worried both for her and James.

In a direct appeal to Miss Wardle, he said: ‘We know that caring for a person with James’s complex problems can be overwhelming and it’s entirely understandable that the day-to-day challenges of looking after James may have got on top of you.

“There are organisations which can help if you do not feel you are getting the support you need.

“Please contact us and I promise we will do everything in our power to ensure you get more assistance.

“Your family are desperately worried and missing you very much. In particular your little boys just want their mummy home safely.”

Mr Marsden said a woman had been seen pushing a wheelchair on Saturday at Arrow Valley Country Park, a favourite place of the family.

“Their disappearance is totally out of character. We are extremely concerned for their welfare.”

Miss Wardle has shoulder-length dark-brown hair and speaks with a Midlands accent. James is 5ft 4in, thin, with short mousy hair and looks younger than his age.

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