The father of a Loughborough University student has told journalists about finding the dead body of his missing son under a motorway bridge. There are questions surrounding the death of 19-year-old Thomas Healy after he disappeared on a night out with friends. His family started searching for him after failing to make contact with the young man after he was let out of a minibus when it stopped on the hard shoulder of the M6.
The 48-year-old father, John, was searching the area with his brother, Kevin, when they found the body of Thomas. He recalls the two of them seeing a figure in the distance as they walked and said that it was their Thomas. He just sat with his son, holding him. He was the best son anyone could have had. He hasn’t just lost a son, but also his best friend.
The discovery was made on Saturday afternoon on the stretch of road in Erdington. Police are treating Thomas’s death as unexplained and have launched an investigation to determine if he jumped or just fell from the bridge. Witnesses say they last saw him walking on the hard shoulder on the elevated section of the northbound M6 just after midnight between junctions six and five.
It’s believed he was travelling in a minibus with friends en route to Birmingham. However, he got off the bus when it stopped on the hard shoulder around 11:45pm for unknown reasons. His friends were worried and phoned his parents later to make sure he had returned home safely, but he hadn’t.
John said he knew something was wrong and set out to look for him, as Thomas would normally text them to say he was going out with friends. When he didn’t get in touch with them, they panicked because their son was responsible. Something was wrong, and he phoned his brother Kevin to ask for help searching the area where Thomas’s friends said he had gotten out. If his son did jump or get hit, it wasn’t something he wanted to know; rather, it was something he had to eliminate.
With his wife, June (52), too distraught to talk, John added that Thomas was the best son a parent could have. He has lost more than a son, as Thomas was his best friend too. All the neighbours have visited them to give their condolences, and they are all shocked as well. He was loved by them and had just helped fix one of their fences the previous weekend. Thomas didn’t know what he wanted to do with his university degree, but they were proud of him. He had been the first in their family to attend a university.
Thomas was the youngest of three, with a 26-year-old brother Steven and 27-year-old sister Carla. A postmortem examination will be conducted to determine his cause of death. West Midlands Police Acting Inspector Tex Bate asked for anyone to get in contact with them if they saw Thomas on the motorway in the early morning hours of Saturday. Anyone with information can phone the police on the 101 non-emergency number.