Human remains found in pensioner's garden

Police investigating the disappearance of an 85-year-old man have found human remains in the pensioner's back garden.

Francis Willis, of Staindrop, Leam Lane estate, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has not been seen since the week beginning August 15.

His 62-year-old son, also Francis, of Carr Hill, Gateshead, appeared before Gateshead Magistrates' Court charged with murder.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.

Northumbria Police said officers have "recovered what appeared to be human remains in the rear garden" of Mr Willis senior's home.

A post mortem will be carried out tomorrow.

Police on Wednesday launched a missing person inquiry, due to the elderly man's frail health.

Northumbria Police confirmed yesterday the investigation had become a murder inquiry.

Neighbours said Mr Willis senior was a widower and father of two sons, one of whom died from motor neurone disease.

They said he was a good neighbour and that he was in poor health due to Parkinson's disease.

Forensics specialists in white suits were seen walking from Mr Willis senior's back garden and loading a van with plastic evidence bags.