‘I’ve spent 17 years hunting for where killer hid my dead son’s body’
A grieving mum who has been searching for her son’s body for 17 years is supporting calls for Helen’s Law.
Sheila Dolton, 67, is backing the bid to deny parole to killers who refuse to disclose where their victims’ bodies are. The campaign, which was launched in the Mirror, has 600,000 signatures of support.
Sheila spends her weekends in remote countryside in the hope of finding son Jonathan’s remains so he can finally be laid to rest.
She said: “No other family should be put through this torment. We desperately need Helen’s Law put in place… The grieving process involves falling apart and putting yourself back together – learning to move on without that person. Without our son’s body to bury, we can’t do that.”
Jonathan was 20 when he was killed in 2002 by business partner Stewart Martin, who fled to Australia but was extradited, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years.
Sheila repeatedly sent letters begging the killer to reveal the location of Jonathan’s body, but to no avail.
Martin was released on licence in 2009 after serving just over four years. He died of a heart attack 18 months later aged 48, taking his secrets to the grave.
He’d had a few hours to hide the body. Sheila’s search has slowly fanned out from Jonathan’s home in Milton Keynes, Bucks, where blood was found in his car. Retired civil servant Sheila, of Oxford, said: “I go deep into wooded areas… At times it’s terrifying.
“Once, I got lost as night fell. I stumbled about in the dark in sheer panic.
“I sat down and sobbed. Finally, I found a path. I always pack a survival blanket and compass now.”
The gran, married to Alan, 70, added: “We feel it’s our duty as Jonathan’s parents to find him.” Marie McCourt, 75, of Billinge, Merseyside, is behind the Helen’s Law campaign launched in 2015 and named after her murdered daughter Helen.
The insurance clerk was killed aged 22 in 1988 by pub landlord Ian Simms who has never said where he dumped her.
- You can sign the Helen’s Law petition at www.change.org/Helenslaw
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