17 Dec 2008

Mystery over missing NZ man investigated again

2:57 pm on 17 December 2008

The disappearance of a New Zealander in London almost six years ago may be close to being solved with the possibility that he died in an industrial accident.

Lee Sheppard, 26, went missing while working a nightshift at a recycling factory in northwest London on 31 January 2003.

A number of theories were considered to explain his disappearance, including the possibility that he was the victim of foul play.

Private investigator Ron McQuilter, who has been working for Mr Sheppard's family, has looked at the case again and said he found new evidence and eliminated many of the theories about Lee Sheppard put forward at the time.

He said his inquiries point to Mr Sheppard falling into a powerful industrial recycling machine, but how he may have come to fall is is still being investigated.

Mr Shepherd's father, Ken Sheppard, accepts Ron McQuilter's explanation.

London detective sergeant Andy Goodwin also worked on the case and said a worker at the plant has given a new statement which prompted a new line of inquiry. However, he said foul play was not suspected.