Relatives of a pensioner whose body was found hidden in a freezer at a disused pub have told of their shock and dismay.
Roy Bigg was about 70 years old when he disappeared in Newham, London, in February 2012.
Since then, he has been the subject of a Missing People appeal, where the poster appears to believe he could still have been alive.
But it emerged this week that builders renovating the former Simpson’s wine bar on Romford Road, Forest Gate, made the grim discovery of his body stuffed in a freezer in the basement.
Pensioner Roy Bigg (pictured), 70, who disappeared from Newham, London, in February 2012, was found dead last year in a freezer in a disused pub to the dismay of those who knew him
Roy Biggs’ cousin Frank Bousfield and his wife Irene (pictured in their home in Leiston, Suffolk) said it was’ shocking ‘to hear about his death and the sad way it happened.
The former Simpson’s wine bar on Romford Road, Forest Gate, where the grim find was made
Stunned workers uncovered his remains around noon. 3pm on October 15 last year, but detectives first announced the find this week.
MailOnline has tracked down one of Mr. Bigg’s last surviving relatives, his first cousin Frank Bousfield, 83, who last met him as a young man.
“It’s really shocking to hear about Roy’s death, especially like this one,” said former drainage engineer Mr. Bousfield from Leiston, Suffolk.
‘My wife Irene read about the case in the newspaper this morning and mentioned it to me, but we never associate the name with my cousin and I did not recognize his picture.’
The wording of the Missing People appeal suggested that he was thought to be still alive
Frank (pictured) said that Roy was avoided by most of his family and that he did not think there would be anyone alive who would know much about him
He continued: ‘Hopefully we will eventually discover the truth from the police investigation.
‘What a very sad end to his life. Roy was clearly a caring person because he took care of his own mother for years, and I remember he thought it was strange that his father Bert, who worked at Ford in Dagenham throughout his career, looked to leave that side of things to his son. .
‘I would only have seen Roy when we visited the family as children and teenagers. I do not think there is anyone left alive in the family who would remember much about him
‘I have no idea what kind of job he was going on with.’ Bousfield said he had not been contacted by police.
Bousfield said he only met Roy Bigg – known as ‘Roy Boy’ for the whole family – a handful of times in his youth.
He remembered that Roy, an only child six years younger than him, loved his mother Hetty and breastfed her when she became ill with terminal cancer until her death when Roy was 25 years old.
‘The most important thing I remember about Roy was to hear on the family vine that he was gay. It was not so socially acceptable in those days, and I think some of the family might have avoided him a little as a result. ‘
Detective Kelly Allen of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: ‘We believe Roy’s body may have been in the freezer for a number of years.
‘Talking to people who knew him will help us establish not only his lifestyle and habits, but also when he was last seen.
‘If you knew Roy, please contact us – his date of birth was September 8, 1944, we think he would have been around 70 years old when he died.
‘It does not matter if it is a long time since you knew him or if you only knew him briefly, any information can be of real importance to our inquiries.’
An autopsy showed that the cause of death was not conclusive.
Mr. Bigg could only be identified through his dental records.
When he disappeared, it looked like there had been hope he was still alive.
The Missing People appeal had read: ‘Roy we are here for you when you are ready; we can listen, tell you what help you need, send you a message and help you be safe. ‘
DCI Allen added: ‘We have released a picture of Roy and hope everyone who knew him will take the time to come forward and talk to us.
If you do not wish to speak directly to the police, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously, but whatever you do, please call. ‘
Anyone who knew Roy Bigg should call the Incident Room on 020 8345 1570, call 101 or tweet @MetCC indicating CAD4332 / 15OCT21.
To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.