Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

A father who spent 35 years trying to hunt down his daughter’s killer after she was murdered in Kenya has died.

The body of wildlife photographer Julie Ward, 28, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was discovered on Maasai Mara reserve in September 1988. No-one has ever been convicted of her murder.

John Ward, who spent £2m of his own money investigating the case, died within two weeks of his wife Jan.

Their sons Bob and Tim said they would continue their father’s mission.

Bob Ward said his father, who died aged 89, continued to follow leads up until a few weeks ago.

He said, together with his brother, they would carry on their father’s work, and they planned to publish a book on the case and get a documentary made.

“The world can get to see what he’s been doing for the last 35 years,” he told BBC Radio Suffolk.

“It’s such an extraordinary story and I think people only know about half of it.”

Julie Ward
Image caption,Julie Ward’s mutilated remains were discovered by her father

Miss Ward disappeared towards the end of a solo photography safari.

She was last seen alive on 6 September 1988 before her burned and dismembered body was found by her father a week later.

At the time, Kenyan officials claimed she had been attacked by animals, but they later accepted she was murdered after her father uncovered further evidence.

Unlawful killing

Two game rangers were acquitted of Miss Ward’s murder in 1992 due to insufficient evidence.

A new team of Kenyan police officers re-examined the case in 1997 and in 1999 a gamekeeper was tried and acquitted of the crime.

In 2004, an inquest held in Ipswich recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

John Ward, from Brockley, near Bury St Edmunds, had made more than 100 visits to Kenya, trying to hunt down who was responsible.

He previously said if his daughter’s death was accidental, he would have accepted, but he was determined not to give up on the murder investigation.

By Joy

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