THE Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has this evening (Monday) carried out the exhumation of the body of Lee Balkwell. His body has now been taken to a hospital for a new post-mortem to be carried out.
This action forms part of the on-going investigation into the death of Mr Balkwell who was found dead within the workings of a cement mixer lorry on 18 July 2002.
Detective Inspector Janine Farrell, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This investigation is committed to searching for the truth about what happened to Lee Balkwell in July 2002 and we have not made the decision to conduct this exhumation lightly.
“This event has obviously caused Lee Balkwell’s next of kin and family further considerable distress and this whole process is being managed to minimise any further anguish as much as possible.
“Our aim is to carry out the process of exhumation, post mortem and reinterment as swiftly as possible to minimise distress to Lee’s next of kin and family.
“A specialist team have carried out the exhumation so that it took place with expert care and respect. They were supported by highly experienced Crime Scene Investigators, with able assistance from the cemetery staff.
“It is important to remember that five people have been arrested in connection with this investigation and all of them currently remain on bail.
“But we remain open to all hypotheses regarding Lee’s death and if anyone has any information regarding the death of Lee Balkwell, no matter how trivial they consider it, even after all this time, they should contact my team on 01634 884033.