Missing priest found dead in supermarket car park
Police say the body of Father Joseph Williams had been lying unnoticed for three days
A missing priest from Luton has been found dead in a supermarket car park – but shoppers and staff did not discover his body for three days.
Father Joseph Williams, 42, is believed to have died of natural causes while out shopping on Friday 27 December in Morrisons’ car park in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. But it was three days before police discovered his body slumped over the steering wheel.
Bedfordshire Police said they were called to the car park on Monday and discovered a body that had lain undiscovered “for some time”. A spokesman for the force added that Fr Williams was thought to have died of natural causes.
A spokesman for Morrisons last night said that the store would be “supporting police with their inquiries”.
Staff at the King’s Arms, a pub on the same road as the branch of Morrisons where Fr Williams was found, told The Independent: “We’ve very shocked. It’s very surprising and sad that a body could have gone undiscovered for three days, especially on that weekend when Morrison’s gets very busy between Christmas and New Year.”
A worker at the BP petrol station opposite the supermarket added that the news had “completely shocked” locals.
The Bishop of Northampton, the Right Reverend Peter Doyle, led tributes to Fr Williams on the Diocese of Northampton website.
He said: “It is with much sadness that I write to let you know that Fr Joseph Williams died suddenly while out shopping on Friday 27 December. Please pray for the repose of Joe’s soul, for his family and for his parish. May he rest in peace.”
He added: “I think it makes people feel guilty that we didn’t look or that we didn’t find him, but it was unavoidable and it’s just one of those things. Although there has to be a post-mortem, it would seem that he died of natural causes.”
Fr Williams was a long-serving Roman Catholic priest, and was first ordained in 2000. He had served in varying capacities in Burnham, Kettering, Biggleswade and Milton Keynes, before moving to the parish of St Martin de Porres in Bedfordshire in 2011.
A mass has been held in his memory at Fr Williams’ church.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...