MYSTERY surrounds the death of a man whose body was found in a field.

THE death of a Ramsey man who went missing for four months will remain a mystery.

Reginald Howse, 83, of Ramsey, was last seen on May 9.

His body was discovered on farmland near Ramsey on September 7, but the cause of death was last week found to be unascertained by ­coroner Dr Sam Bass.

A public appeal was launched after Mr Howse went missing after he was seen leaving a Sunday service at St Thomas a Becket Church in his home town.

The search lasted until farmers ­discovered his body in a ditch at Middlemoor Farm, where he was said to have enjoyed regular countryside walks.

The place where he was discovered was just three fields – about a mile and a half – away from his home in Lime Road, Ramsey.

His daughter, Jenny Lee, of Brookfield Way, Bury, said she was “pleased the ordeal is over”.

Earlier, she had said: “We feel saddened but relieved that we have been given some form of closure.”

She and her brother David Howse told Huntingdon Law Courts inquest that their father had suffered a stroke in 2005 and lost some of his vision.

“It is not inconceivable he could have stumbled into a ditch without realising what was happening,” they said.

At the inquest relatives said he was also “difficult to help” and “did not welcome assistance”.

“He was stoically independent,” they told the hearing on Thursday (October 28).

Mr Howse’s body was found with a wallet, bank card and cheque book but he had to be identified through dental records, pathologist Dr Martin Goddard said.

His belt was also found hanging from a tree – police believe that he might have tried to use it to haul himself out of a ditch he was stuck in.

Recording a verdict of death by cause unascertained, Dr Bass said it was “very unlikely anything untoward happened”.

Mr Howse, who was born in Willesden, London, moved to St Ives, the birthplace of his mother, at the beginning of the Second World War.

He worked for various engineering companies in the area, had a long association with the Rotary Club of St Ives, was vice-president of St Ives Music and Drama Society (SIMADS) and a long-standing member of the Old Huntingdonians Association.

Mr Howse is survived by son David, daughters Jenny and Elizabeth, and grandchildren Katrina, Adam and Kate.