Shropshire Star

Army veteran found dead after major search operation took his own life, coroner rules

An army veteran who was found dead in woodland after being subject of a major missing person appeal took his own life, a coroner ruled.

Christopher Jiggins

The disappearance of Christopher Jiggins, known locally as "Jiggsy", sparked police appeals and a two-week search operation, which included the West Mercia Search and Rescue team and members of the local community in Church Stretton.

Sadly, on November 15 last year, he was found dead by specialist search teams near Helmeth Hill.

An inquest into Mr Jiggins's death was held at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, and was told that he worked as an "estate man" and lived alone in High Street, Church Stretton.

It was also said that he was known to take off into the Church Stretton hills to camp for several days at a time.

Mr Jiggins was first reported missing on October 30 and was considered a "high risk" person by West Mercia Police.

"Extensive" searches were carried out in the Church Stretton area by police and the local community before he was found. His Youth Hostels Association card and armed forces benefit card were found on his person.

A post-mortem exam found that Mr Jiggins had an injury which would likely have caused severe blood loss.

Police investigators were satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances or any third party involvement in Mr Jiggins's death.

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: "On the basis that these wounds were self-inflicted, I am satisfied on the balance of probability that when he caused those injuries, he intended to kill himself."

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.

After Mr Jiggins's death, his nephew Shaun said he "was going to be missed by the entire family".

He added that his uncle, who had no children, was much loved and his death has left his partner of more than 30 years, Ms Chris Hayward, "devastated".

More than £4,400 was raised on a Go Fund Me page to help with costs towards Mr Jiggins's funeral.

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*Samaritans also say sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you understand them better.

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