I have not written a piece like this before. I am scared I will not give something as tragic as this the justice.
My home County – Sussex- is in absolute shock. They are horrified, distraught and angry. And you can’t blame them….
Wayne Davies, a 22 year old apprentice plumber from East Grinstead Sussex went missing in the city of Leiden in Amsterdam on the 19th of April. He was last seen leaving a night club with a friend on Saturday. Wayne was meant to fly home on the Monday, but never arrived. His family and friends raised the alarm and immediately set up a Facebook page called ‘HELP FIND WAYNE DAVIES’.
Wayne was described by so many people as being a loyal friend, a star, a great character. I am sad to say that i never knew Wayne, however friends of mine did have that privilege.
After extensive efforts from everyone in the community, they managed to get Wayne featured on Sky News, in the Mirror and the BBC. People Instagramming wonderful pictures of Wayne, and sharing information through other means of social media. His families were overwhelmed by the support from friends, neighbours, strangers… all with one goal… to find Wayne.
I was looking through Facebook when I saw something that horrified me.
hello everybody, it breaks my heart to post this but I have been given a report from a contact in holland and have watched the video and you see Wayne’s head in the water. I’m so sorry.xx I’m broken. I will miss you forever.xx
This was posted to the site dedicated to finding Wayne , by his own Brother. What saddened me greater still was the fact that this was how his family found out about Wayne’s death. Not from Police in Holland, or Police in Uk, but from a news website who recorded the recovery of the body and posted it.
I later clicked on the link. I did it to read comments left on the site. The majority are in written in Dutch however Wayne’s brother posted;
Good Evening, My name is Dean Davies eldest brother of Wayne Davies. I don’t know how things work in the Netherlands but as previous comments say is it not necessary to show every video and picture. I will never forget the way I found out how my brother was found dead, through this site. The Dutch police never contacted my mother or anyone in my family. The way the Dutch police have dealt with this case is disgusting. I kindly ask you to please remove this video. I have a 13 year old brother who shouldn’t be able to access this footage of his brother dead in a canal. We are filing a lawsuit against this and your company.
I was very impressed by the way he kept things together. Writing to the point, without dropping any abusive language, I really don’t know how he did it. Keeping composure in such a horrific situation shows how strong a character Dean really is.
I read another comment;
Dear Dean, first please accept my condolances to you and your family. As citizen of the city of Leiden I was deeply shocked especially the way this local news was presented. Please do know it’s not the mentality of the majority of the Dutch people who do respect the deceased people, either race, background, nationality and death cause. This city which is proud to be called City of Inventions and Science really showed this weekend it’s very dark side. Please forgive us and bring those responsible in Court in order to prevent this happening again in this “civilised” country. I’m convinced Dutch lawyers are happy to assist you in any lawsuit to clear up this terrible case. But please again accept our regards in this difficult period for you and your family. I hope others will join me.
I thought this was a lovely comment and necessary. It was not the citizens of Leiden who had been unhelpful or totally oblivious to Wayne’s family nightmare.
I did not share the link to the website with you earlier to promote it. I wanted to bring in to your attention to help. I did in support for the petition ‘To remove all the images and video footage of Wayne Davies in the canal from the website’ below:
As I mentioned before I never had the pleasure of meeting Wayne. The reason I am sharing this story with you all, is to try and gain awareness of the lack of support that the family of Wayne’s was given from authorities. They are facing ongoing struggles when all they should be doing right now is mourning. Mourning for their Brother, Mourning for their Son, Mourning for their Friend.
I will include one last link – Help bring Wayne’s Body Home. They have already reached well above their goal, however if you would like to donate then please do. Every penny will be spent on Wayne’s memorial.
Thank you for reading this story.
In Memory of Wayne Davies, may you rest is peace.