Body of missing Kent man was discovered by woman who took a shortcut through Dover woodland

The coroner said Kevin Blackwell took his own life
-Credit: (Image: Kent Police)

The body of a man who was missing for nearly a month was discovered by a woman who took a shortcut through woodland in Dover. Kevin Blackwell went out to a doctor's appointment early one May morning but never returned home.

An inquest into his death on Monday, July 8, heard that he was last seen leaving his home in Dymchurch by his daughter on May 9, 2024. He then caught the 7.42am Stagecoach bus to travel to Dover.

The father-of-two withdrew cash a few hours later and was then spotted on a CCTV camera of another Stagecoach bus in Dover at around 10.43am, according to a Kent Police report, read at the inquest.

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It is believed the 52-year-old hopped off the bus at a stop near where he used to live with his ex-partner, the coroner heard. He was reported missing two days later on May 11.

Reading the police report, at an inquest at Oakwood House in Maidstone, coroner Katrina Hepburn said: “The family did not report him missing immediately because they thought he went drinking with friends.”

Police launched an urgent appeal to find Kevin but he was later found dead in woodland in the Dover area. His body was discovered on Saturday, June 1 by a woman who took a shortcut through the wood, the coroner said.

According to a GP report, which was read out at the inquest, Kevin suffered from mental health issues, alcoholism and type 1 diabetes. The doctor said there was no sign of violence and no suspicions that a third party was involved in Kevin’s death.

The coroner said Kevin's exact time of death could not be determined. It was said at the inquest it would have probably taken longer to find the body if the woman who discovered his body had not gone off the track as she said it was not a path used by walkers. In her conclusion, the coroner said the part-time cleaner died from hanging.

Ms Hepburn said: “It seems he went to that location, and did not send messages to his family.” She added his action was not “a cry for help” and he “intended to take his own life”. She added the cause of Kevin's death would be recorded as a suicide.

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