THE family of a man who went missing more than 26 years ago have finally discovered the truth behind his disappearance.
Gerald Twibey was last seen in July 1985 at Stanley Royd Hospital, where he was a patient
Despite an extensive search the 53-year-old was never found.
Since then his family have searched for answers about what happened to him.
But the mystery of his disappearance was finally solved after a cold case review by detectives.
During their investigation they found another unsolved case of a man who was found dead in the River Colne, Huddersfield, but his body was never identified.
With help from new technology they established it was Mr Twibey.
His sister-in-law, Betty Twibey, said: “We couldn’t believe it at first – it is like the ending to a story. We are really pleased with the police who have worked hard and we would like to thank them all.
“We did not think after all these years he would be found – we couldn’t believe it. It feels better now that he has been found – we have always wondered over the years.”
Earlier this year detectives launched a review of the case, which examined all the evidence gathered during the original 1985 investigation.
Then they examined the evidence from the original investigation into the man who was found in the river.
And using cutting edge forensic technology they tried to establish if the body found in the river was definitely Mr Twibey.
When a DNA test failed to provide a result, they turned to face mapping technology which proved their theory.
This was put before a coroner who agreed with the new findings.
In 1985 Mr Twibley was buried in a pauper’s grave in Kirklees because he had not been identified.
But last week a proper funeral service and cremation for Mr Twibey was held by his family, who live in Pontefract.
It was carried out free of charge by funeral directors Harpins.
Chief Supt Marc Callaghan, Wakefield district police divisional commander, said: “I am pleased we have been able to bring this to a conclusion for Mr Twibey’s family.
“It is a testament to our local community that local businesses have stepped in to help them with the funeral service and I would like to thank them.”