Baby found next to dead grandfather

A 13-MONTH-OLD baby who disappeared three days ago was yesterday found alive on a mountainside near the body of his devoted grandfather.

Liam Evans was found near his grandfather Gwilym Evans's car, which had plunged 150 yards down a steep slope at a remote spot in north-west Wales, about 50 miles from Mr Evans's home in Colwyn Bay.

Liam was discovered sitting crying in thick ferns near the wrecked Vauxhall Vectra. He had survived the crash with only cuts and scratches and was flown to Glan Clywd Hospital, near Abergele, by police helicopter.

The body of 61-year-old Mr Evans, a retired police inspector, was found 20 yards further up the slope at the Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen. Police say that it is not yet known how he died.

Detective Superintendent Eric Jones of North Wales Police said it was possible that the car could have been hidden on the mountainside for two or three days. It was eventually found by a young boy from the Wirral who was on a day out in the area - a panoramic beauty spot that attracts hundreds of visitors a day during the summer.

As forensic scientists began to try to piece together a picture of what might have happened, Det Supt Jones said it was possible that Mr Evans had managed to get Liam out of the car before losing consciousness.

"It would appear at this early stage of the investigation that it is nothing more than a tragic accident," he said.

"Liam has nothing more than a few scratches. It is remarkable how he survived."

He said that there were signs that the car had rolled over. The straps on the car's child seat and the driver's seat belt were found unsecured and the driver's airbag had inflated. The spot where the car came to rest was hidden from the road, although police said the point where it left the carriageway could be seen.

Liam was found only hours after his parents pleaded for his grandfather to contact them and said his disappearance was totally out of character.

Ruth and Gary Evans said Mr Evans was devoted to the little boy and his three-year-old sister Sophia. They were at their son's bedside last night.

Det Supt Jones said the discovery of their son had been one of both "happiness and sadness".

"When I broke the news to both parents I think they were torn between elation and sadness," he said. "You can imagine the pressure the family have been under during the last four days."

Liam and his grandfather vanished on Thursday afternoon. Mr Evans and his wife, Barbara, were looking after him while his parents took Sophia to Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital, where she is being treated for coeliac disease, which means she has to follow a gluten-free diet.

During the afternoon, Liam became boisterous and Mr Evans told his wife he would take him out for a while so that she could prepare his food. Minutes later, Mrs Evans discovered they had gone out in the car.

When they had still failed to return three hours later she reported them missing.

A massive hunt was organised and more than 100 sightings were reported to police, who said they were baffled by Mr Evan's disappearance.

He had severe arthritis which made it impossible for him to walk long distances without suffering extreme pain.

The only positive sighting was later the same day at a garage in Colwyn Bay, where Mr Evans filled the tank of his car with petrol.

A sighting of a man and a boy answering the name Liam was made later the same day in Criccieth, more than 50 miles south of Colwyn Bay, but it was not confirmed.

Det Supt Jones, who worked with Mr Evans before he retired in 1986, said he was a placid and quiet man.

He was also said to be very friendly and sincere and in all his time as an officer, had reacted well under pressure.

During his career Mr Evans earned 10 commendations and was a member of Special Branch for a time.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine