Police reward over death of man whose body was found in pub freezer

Met police offer £20,000 reward over mysterious death of man whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in disused East London pub

  • The body of Roy Bigg was found in the empty pub in Forest Gate in October 2021

Police have offered a £20,000 for information after the body of a man was found in a freezer at a disused pub in East London.

The remains of Roy Bigg were found in the basement of the former Simpson’s Wine Bar in Forest Gate on October 15, 2021.

The 70-year-old’s body was found by builders working at the premises in Romford Road just over two years ago.

A post-mortem was unable to determine Roy’s cause of death, and his remains had to be identified using his dental records.

The Metropolitan Police has now offered a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the arrest, charge and prosecution of those responsible for the murder of Roy Bigg.

The body of Roy Bigg was discovered in a freezer in a disused pub in East London in October 2021

Police were called to the basement of the former Simpson’s Wine bar after his body was found by builders

Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Allen, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: ‘It’s now been more than two years since Roy was found. 

‘Although our investigation, and previous media appeals have provided us with information about Roy’s life, we still need your help to identify who is responsible.

‘Roy went missing in February 2012. We believe that his body may have been in the freezer for a number of years, and that he was aged about 70 when he died.

‘Where was he between 2012 and 2021? To date there have been no confirmed sightings of him in this nine year period. Can you help?

‘Anything you can tell us may prove invaluable in helping us discover what happened.’

Speaking last year, relatives of the pensioner claimed he had vanished in the London borough of Newham in February 2012 and had been the subject of a Missing People appeal.

MailOnline tracked down one of Mr Bigg’s last living relatives, his first cousin Frank Bousfield, 83. who last met him as a young man.

‘It’s really shocking to learn of Roy’s death, especially like this,’ said former drainage engineer Mr Bousfield, from Leiston, Suffolk.

A post-mortem was unable to determine Mr Bigg’s cause of death and he had to be identified by dental records

Roy Bigg’s cousin Frank Bousfield and his wife Irene (pictured at their home in Leiston, Suffolk) said it was ‘shocking’ to learn of his death and the sad manner in which it occurred

The Missing People appeal’s wording suggested it was thought Roy Bigg could be still alive when it was released

‘My wife Irene was reading about the case in the paper this morning, and mentioned it to me, but we never connected the name with my cousin, and I didn’t recognise his photo.’

He went on: ‘Hopefully we’ll eventually discover the truth from the police inquiry.

‘What a very sad end to his life. Roy was obviously a caring person because he took care of his own mother for years, and I remember thinking it was odd that his father Bert, who worked at Ford in Dagenham for his entire career, seemed to leave that side of things to his son.

READ MORE HERE:  Pensioner, 70, whose body was found hidden in freezer by workmen renovating disused wine bar was shunned by his family for being gay, cousin reveals 

‘I would only have seen Roy when we made family visits as kids and teenagers. I don’t think there’s anyone left alive in the family who would remember much about him really

‘I’ve no idea what kind of job he went on to do.’ Mr Bousfield said he had not been contacted by police at the time of speaking to him in March last year.

Mr Bousfield said that he only met Roy Bigg – known as ‘Roy Boy’ to all the family – a handful of times in his youth.

He recalled that Roy, an only child six years his junior, doted on his mother Hetty, and nursed her when she fell ill with terminal cancer until her death when Roy was aged 25.

‘The main thing I remember about Roy was hearing on the family grapevine that he was gay. It wasn’t as socially acceptable in those days and I think some of the family might have shunned him a bit as a result.’

When he went missing it appeared that there had been hopes he was still alive.

The Missing People appeal had read: ‘Roy we are here for you whenever you are ready; we can listen, talk you through what help you need, pass a message for you and help you to be safe.’

DCI Allen added: ‘We have released an image of Roy and hope that anyone who knew him will take the time to come forward and speak with us.

If you don’t want to speak directly to police please contact Crimestoppers anonymously, but whatever you do, please do make the call.’

Anyone who knew Roy Bigg should call the Incident Room on 020 8345 1570, call 101 or post on ‘X’ @MetCC quoting reference CAD 4332/15Oct21.

To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

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