Missing man identified by DNA from leg bone found in Brazil

A BONE belonging to an Alconbury Weston businessman who went missing in Brazil nearly three years ago held the key to resolving his mysterious death.

A BONE belonging to an Alconbury Weston businessman who went missing in Brazil nearly three years ago held the key to resolving his death.

Alan Kempson, pictured, had been missing since May 2, 2008, when the small plane in which he was a passenger disappeared in Brazil, but his family had been unable to register his death formally because no body had been found.

In December 2009, a Brazilian fisherman found a leg bone and personal effects belonging to Mr Kempson, and asked for money to reveal more information.

At a pre-inquest hearing on Thursday, coroner David Morris ruled that the bones, DNA-matched to be Mr Kempson, were sufficient evidence to open an inquest into his death formally.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death, caused by Mr Kempson’s plane crashing in poor weather.

The court heard that Mr Kempson, 46, formerly of Butchers Close, Alconbury Weston, had taken a flight in a twin-engine Cessna aircraft to survey land near the Brazilian city of Ilheus, which he was interested in acquiring to build eco-homes.

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He was travelling with Nigel Hodges, with whom he ran Diamond Lifestyle Holdings, St Neots resident Sean Lovelock-Woodhall, Ricky Every and two Brazilian crew members, all of whom are still missing.

The group had earlier tried to charter a helicopter for the flight, but the pilot had refused because of poor weather.

The plane took off from Salvador at 5pm local time, and had been due to complete a five-hour flight. At 5.43pm the pilot radioed to say the plane would be landing at 5.50pm, but there was no further contact.

A four-day search followed, during which a plane engine cover was found, and personal belongings were washed up on a beach 20km north of the plane’s last known position.

After the search was called off, a death certificate was issued by Brazilian authorities and the British Consul in Brazil issued a general certificate.

Adam Straw, representing the family, told the coroner that Thursday’s ruling was needed to allow Mr Kempson’s family to register his death in the UK.

“There has been no decision in this country by the requisite authorities that Mr Kempson has died. That leaves the family in limbo in terms of emotional and financial issues.”

Mr Kempson’s widow, Sandy, said after the hearing that the verdict would bring the family some closure.

“We are all relieved that there has been a final decision. It has been a difficult time and as a family we are pleased that this has been officially recognised.”