The day had started for me like any other. Kids off to school. Coffee and breakfast. I had heard late the night before that a body had been found in a local lake, but, at this time, details were sparse. Soon, breakfast was forgotten. A second body had been found and the police were treating both deaths as 'suspicious'.
|Appeal for missing boy|
There was nothing to photograph at the RV point, apart from some shots of the police vehicles, and the comings and goings of the white suited forensic officers. Being local, I knew there was another way to the scene but it meant a long trek over a military training area. That is where I headed.
I find it hard on jobs where there has been a death. Luckily it doesn't happen often. I worked on a house fire a few months ago where three people died (a mother and two of her kids). I photographed the burned out front of the house, and the blackened shell of the bedroom where the deaths had occurred. There was an horrible feeling of sadness, even though I had no connection to the deceased.
This time however, I felt no sadness. I had the usual questions going round in my head, best shot, light, how to dodge the police cordon if there was one, camera settings etc.
|PCSO mans the cordon|
I made my way back down the track, and as soon as the PCSO gave up watching my retreating figure, I headed off the track and into the bushes. Each bush I disturbed sent freezing cold snow cascading down my neck. I found another track, well away from the PCSO and his cordon tape. As I rounded a bend on this track my hopes were again dashed. Another PCSO and another cordon tape. By now I was soaked to the skin and freezing. My fingers were so cold I could barely keep them still enough to change the settings on my cameras. I was heading down to the main track when I heard the engine. An army land rover was
heading for the first cordon I had encountered.
|Army land rover and divers|
I had some decent shots, but nothing out of the ordinary. I made my way back down the track. I was bursting for a pee. I could hear an engine so I decided to nip into the bushes and do what had to be done. As I was zipping up, something caught my eye. Through the bushes I could make out something white. I forced my way through the gorse and of in the distance I could see a white forensic tent. The kind the police erect over the scene of a body.
I took several shots on a long lens. As I stood looking at the shots on the camera, the sadness came. The enormity of events caught up with me. Two families had lost their sons. Lives had been changed for ever. It was the sight of the forensic tent. It seemed to make things real. How the emergency services or photographers/journos in war zones deal with death on a regular basis is beyond me. I suppose they see it on such a regular basis they become hardened to it over time?
There were two arrests regarding this case. The post mortem revealed both young men (17 and 24) had met their death by drowning. The man who was being held on suspicion of murder was released without charge. The second man who was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled substance, was released on bail.
The night the boys were last seen alive was freezing cold. It is easy to draw the conclusion that they went into the water as a result of taking drugs. The police are awaiting toxicology test results, so time will tell if drugs were involved.
Next for me is a trip to Leicester on Saturday. The EDL are protesting about the lenient sentencing given to the gang of Asian girls who attacked a young white girl. This is a clear case of 'if it goes tits up, the one to blame is the judge who imposed the sentence'.