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Sadness tinged with relief as human remains found in search for Judy Fox

By Deborah Hardiman | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

Residents living near the River Severn where human remains have been found in the search for missing Judy Fox have expressed sadness tinged with relief.

Specialist teams near the River Severn in Coalport during the search for Judy Fox

Detectives confirmed on Friday that remains had been found near the water in Coalport, Ironbridge, but are yet to be formally identified.

The discovery came after nearly a month of searches which have involved helicopter, boats, divers, dogs and drones since Mrs Fox disappeared on June 14.

Mrs Fox is alleged to have been murdered by her daughter Lucy, 38, at her home in Haughton Drive, Shifnal.

WATCH: Police search for Judy Fox in Ironbridge

Human remains found as police search River Severn

Now remains have been found off The Lloyds road, which runs between the centre of Ironbridge and Coalport next to woodland and the river.

Stunned householders living in nearby Coalport High Street said they became aware of police activity in the vicinity at around 9.30am on Friday.

Julie Harley, 57, said: "It's very sad, but I'm glad remains have been found. It brings some comfort to the family. It's better than never knowing what became of someone who's gone missing.

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Interactive map of the area:

"It's a river with very fast flowing currents and there have been stories of people who have fallen in, but never being found. It will be a relief."

Vaughan Harley, 63, said: "I went to the pharmacy at about 9.30am and noticed that the gates down to the river were open and I assumed it was local divers gone down to the water, but shortly afterwards all the police vehicles turned up down at the junction.

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"I was aware that a lady had gone missing in Shifnal, but weren't expecting anything like this."

Divers in the River Severn searching for missing grandmother Judy Fox from Shifnal

Paul Walsh, 72, said: "It's wild and overgrown woodland down The Lloyds, but very pretty surroundings. There are a number of laybys running along side the river for someone in a vehicle to pull over.

"At about 10am I walked up the road to drop off some wrongly-delivered post to one of my neighbours. I could hear voices in the woods by the river outflow, but I thought it was fishermen, but now that the divers are there, I've realised it could have been police officers.

"It is very close to the river and secluded. There used to be a lead mine down there."

The Lloyds in Ironbridge closed for most as police searched the area

Several officers including divers from the South Wales Police Specialist Search Unit spent hours at the scene until around 3.30pm.

The Lloyds was closed between Coalport High Street and Waterloo Street next to the Free Bridge for most of Friday.

Detectives from the force started their investigation after a fire at a house in Apley Park, between Bridgnorth and Ironbridge, in the early hours of June 14.

Judy Fox during her time as a nurse at the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

Nobody was injured in the fire but as officers investigated, they became concerned for the welfare of Mrs Fox and found she had gone missing from her Shifnal home.

The house in Haughton Drive was cordoned off as detectives began searching for Mrs Fox and arrested her daughter on suspicion of murder and arson.

Mrs Fox was a company nurse at the Express & Star and Shropshire Star newspapers for many years.

She was described as a “wonderful mother and a devoted grandmother” by her family and “sympathetic and caring”.

Lucy Fox, 38, and from Bernard’s Hill, Bridgnorth has been charged with murder and remains in custody ahead of a trial at Stafford Crown Court in November.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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