Daughter calls for independent investigation into police after the death of Ollerton man

A heartbroken woman wants police to be investigated independently after her father’s body was found less than a mile away from where he was last seen – two months after going missing.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 12:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 12:42 pm

Corrina Bowman, aged 21, is calling for an independent investigation into the police who worked her father’s case, after they took longer than two months to find his body.

Lee Bowman’s body was found so decomposed that police told the family the cause of death could not be determined.

The 44-year-old, from Ollerton, went missing on the evening of October 31 last year after going to visit a woman in Thurcroft.

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Lee with his daughters, Corrina and Jodi

On January 3, the father-of-two was found dead in the garden of a home less than half a mile from the home of the woman he had visited.

His parents reported him missing to Nottinghamshire Police and South Yorkshire Police launched a missing person investigations after there were sightings in the force’s area.

Speaking to the BBC, Corrina said she knew her dad was dead and no-one believed her.

She said: “I think I’ll probably live the rest of my life not knowing what happened to Dad.

“Had we been listened to from when dad had actually gone missing, his body could have been located.

“We wouldn't be sat here now wondering how he died.”

In an earlier statement, Corrina said police had closed the case ‘three times’ due to possible sightings and the family had to keep fighting to get it reopened.

Weeks before his body was found, on December 6, a South Yorkshire Police spokesman was quoted saying Lee had been found ‘alive and well’, but ‘did not wish to engage’ with officers.

Corrina said she was ‘distraught’ when she saw this as she knew it was a ‘lie', and she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after trying to take her own life.

She told the BBC she knew officers had not spoken to him, because he had not reached out to his family, or used his bank account.

Corrina was still in hospital when she received a phone call saying her father's body had been found.

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Investigation

The case was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, but it decided South Yorkshire Police should conduct an investigation into themselves.

An IOPC spokesman said: "Our thoughts go out to Mr Bowman's family and friends following his tragic death. Our sympathy remains with them.

“After considering the available information in this case, we determined an investigation into the operation to find Mr Bowman and whether he might have been located sooner, was required.

“We directed the force to carry out this to ensure all aspects of their investigation were carried out thoroughly and will receive a copy of the investigator's final report, which ensures an appropriate level of independent scrutiny of the matter."

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The matter has been referred to our Professional Standards Department and the investigation is currently ongoing.

"We are currently awaiting the coroner's file.

“While we await the coroner’s file, inquiries are ongoing within our Professional Standards Department, and we will await any findings from the coronial investigation.

“We cannot make any further comment at this time until that has happened.”