Tragic end to search for pensioner Bernard Hallas

A NINE-WEEK search for a missing Huddersfield man has ended in heartbreak.

Woods off Squirrel Ditch in Newsome
Woods off Squirrel Ditch in Newsome

A NINE-WEEK search for a missing Huddersfield man has ended in heartbreak.

Police confirmed they have found the body of Bradley pensioner Bernard Hallas, a father of four.

Mr Hallas, 84, went missing in his pyjamas, sheepskin coat and hat on December 18.

Now his body has been found in woodland between Athene Drive and Squirrel Ditch in Newsome.

One of his daughters, Andrea Gill, said she was told by police that he was found by two children walking their dog.

Police officers had been making repeated searches of land in the Newsome and Taylor Hill areas.

They had been making regular searches of woods and fields throughout the area, as Mr Hallas was known to have visited friends there in the past.

Mr Hallas, who had been suffering from ill health, had left his home a week before Christmas.

It is thought he may have been trying to make his way to Meltham, where one of his daughters lives, but he boarded a bus to Marsden by mistake.

He stayed on the bus when it reached Marsden and returned to Huddersfield Bus Station.

Staff tried to help him, but he was last seen walking away down High Street and Marsden Street in the direction of Wakefield Road.

There were numerous police appeals for help through the Examiner, other newspapers, TV and radio.

And his worried family set up a Facebook campaign with a page called Help Find Grandad, with information about Mr Hallas and the CCTV footage of when he was last seen.

He leaves two daughters, Andrea and Elaine, and two sons, John and Stephen.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police searching for missing man Bernard Hallas found the body of an adult male in woodlands in the Newsome area on Sunday.

Bernard Hallas

“A post mortem and formal identification are yet to be conducted but at this stage, it is believed to be Mr Hallas.

“Officers have informed his family and are supporting them at this difficult time.”

Mrs Gill said: “It’s a time of mixed emotions for us. On the one hand we are glad to have him back, to have closure and to be able to arrange his funeral but then there is the thought of him lying in a ditch for over nine weeks which isn’t easy.

“At least we can grieve now and it could have been worse – he could have been harmed.

“I think he was found by two children who were walking their dog.

“There are still a lot of questions I guess we will never find answers to like why he was found where he was in Newsome.

“He had lived there as a child. But I can’t understand why he would walk out into a pitch black night as he did.

“As a family we would like to thank the police and search teams who went out in some rotten weather and anyone who went out and looked for him.

“He became a Mormon late in life and I know the members of its church in Birchencliffe went out looking for him.”

 
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