Daughter of Thomas Diggle thanks public for support during search

The daughter of missing grandfather Thomas Diggle, whose body was found yesterday, has thanked the public in a moving tribute to her father

Dee Napier, daughter of Thomas Diggle
Dee Napier, daughter of Thomas Diggle

The daughter of missing grandfather Thomas Diggle, whose body was found in a water transfer station in Northumberland, has thanked the public for their help in trying to bring her father home.

The 92-year-old was last seen at his home in Corbridge on Thursday March 27 and his disappearance sparked an extensive search by Northumbria Police and his family and friends.

His body was found on Monday afternoon in water at the Northumbrian Water transfer station in Riding Mill near Hexham.

He had been living at Abbeyfield House sheltered accommodation in Corbridge and his daughter Dee Napier, 60, made an appeal for his return.

Last night she thanked everybody who had been involved in the search for her father.

She said: “It’s just been awful but we had lost hope that we’d find him alive quite early on. He was very frail. I would like to thank the police who have been brilliant and everyone at Abbeyfield.

“It’s been really difficult for all the staff there but their tireless support has been wonderful.

Thomas Diggle, of Abbeyfield House in Market Place in Corbridge who has gone missing
Thomas Diggle, of Abbeyfield House in Market Place in Corbridge who has gone missing
 

“I would also like to thank the local newspapers for all the publicity they gave during my father’s search. The outcome is tragic but I cannot fault people’s efforts in trying to find him.

“At least he’s been found and we have some resolution. We can bury him and say our goodbyes properly.”

Mr Diggle, who is originally from Bellingham, was a firm favourite at the sheltered accomodation in Corbridge where he lived.

Dee says that when she asked her father a couple of weeks before he went missing if he would like to go on holiday with her, he said no, because he was happy where he was.

“He loved the people and the staff at Abbeyfield,” she said. “He never wanted to leave which is why I found his disappearance so strange. They were so good to him.

“He was born and bred in Bellingham and never left the Tyne Valley. He loved playing golf and was well known in the village for tending to the golf course even when he couldn’t play.

“We’re trying to arrange a memorial event at the golf club in Bellingham and I hope as many people as possible can attend.”

Officers believe there was no third party involvement in his death and a report has been prepared for the coroner.

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