THE family of missing pensioner Orville “Ashley” Richards are convinced that the skeletal remains found last Friday at Deoraj Trace near Penal Quinam Road are his.
His family members said clothes found near the body matched clothes Richards was wearing on June 12 when he left his home on Penal Quinam Road in Mendez Village. They’re almost 100% sure the remains are his.
But the family will have to wait for the long process of DNA testing to determine the identity and then the cause of death.
Richards, 60, was a father of three daughters. He was living with his common-law wife Lenore George, who reported him missing
Family members, who did not want to be identified, said he was afraid of being poisoned and had identified someone he said wanted to kill him.
After a mental breakdown Richards suffered following his father’s death in 2012, he was placed in a psychiatric ward and prescribed medication they say “may have played with his mind”.
A relative said: “Police were often called to his home as he locked himself in with a knife claiming someone wanted to kill him. Last November, he stopped eating anything other than Crix biscuit because he said someone was trying to poison him.
“Because of this story, the police did not take the threats seriously, fostering the perception that he was insane.”
But the family thinks he was murdered.
“It is strange that the body was found in an area that the Hunters’ Association searched unsuccessfully shortly after she went missing.”
That search was suspended, but local hunters, who also belong to the association, discovered the remains in a previously excavated location four months later.
“What baffles us at the moment is how did he get there after the hunters searched so much in this area and found nothing? The body was found on the road to a sawmill and houses.
“You are telling me, if this body was there all the time, no one came across it? Nobody felt anything? I remember when a dog died in the area last year, the smell was horrible.
“This thing is so mysterious. Obviously the body was moved to this location, as he was not one to roam in the bushes. If he wanted to go somewhere, he would jump in his vehicle and drive away.
The relative said that although this is not the conclusion they were hoping for, they are sad that Richards was not found alive, but happy that his remains have been found so there can be a closure.