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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 18:35 GMT
Father of four's tsunami horror
Nigel and Louise Willgrass
Nigel Willgrass found his wife's body in a local morgue
The husband of a mother of four swept to her death when the tsunami hit in Thailand during a family holiday has spoken about his nightmare in Phuket.

Nigel Willgrass, 43, back at his Norfolk home with the children, described the horror of losing his wife and finding her body in a morgue.

Louise, 43, was going to buy sun cream when the other five, waiting in the car, were swept away by the wave.

She was outside the car and the family did not see what happened to her.

Some time later Mr Willgrass was able to begin searching for his wife.

I wanted to take her wedding ring and they wouldn't let me. There was nobody there for me. It was just awful
Nigel Willgrass
"The supermarket was full of water right to the top so I stood on top of buildings and called for her and she wasn't there," he said.

Finally financial adviser Mr Willgrass, of Colney, near Norwich, went to the local hospital only to find his wife's body in the morgue.

"There was a door on the right-hand side that said "Morgue" and she was in there with many, many other people," he said.

"I wanted to take her wedding ring and they wouldn't let me. There was nobody there for me. It was just awful," he said.

Darren Hurren and son James
Dale Hurren has not heard from son James for five days
The couple had been married for 19 years and had two sons and two daughters - Emily, 16, Ben, 14, Michael, nine, and Katie, six.

The family had arrived in Thailand on 14 December and had been due to return home on 2 January.

Another father, Dale Hurren, of Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk, has discovered his 22-year-old son, James, had died in the disaster.

He flew out to Phuket on Friday to join James' friend Bin Tyler, also from Norfolk, who had been desperately searching for him since the wave struck four days ago.

The two were on holiday on the island of Phi-Phi. Since Mr Hurren last spoke to his son on Christmas Day there had been no word.

His body was found next to his best friend and Mr Hurren identified them on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile friends of a Norwich man missing from the Thai island resort of Phi Phi are continuing to try to track him down.

Jez Stephens, 29, has not been seen since Christmas Day.

He had travelled to the island with his friend Craig Cardwell, who called his family to say he was alive but that he had lost Mr Stephens in the aftermath of the disaster.

Mr Stephens's ex-wife Emma Stephens said Mr Cardwell had spent the past three days searching the area.

"Craig has been looking everywhere. He hasn't slept for three days. He is being looked after by local people who have given him clothes, money and food but so far there has been no sign of Jez," she said.


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