Missing children's author Helen Bailey 'had only just got engaged'
Published 21/04/2016 | 09:15
A missing children’s writer who vanished ten days ago recently became engaged, it has been claimed.
Hertfordshire Police confirmed Helen Bailey, 51, had left a note at her house in Royston, Hertfordshire, saying she needed time to herself.
And in a recent blog post, she wrote that things had “been difficult” and said: “It continues to be an anxious and challenging time.”
But friends have previously said she was “very happy” with her partner Ian Stewart, 55, and one female neighbour told the Daily Mail: “Police said to us that they were about to get married.”
Another unnamed neighbour told the Daily Mail: “When the police came round they referred to Ian as her fiance, but I didn't know they were engaged. She always spoke really highly of Ian. She thinks he is lovely. He is a really sweet guy.
“She must have been going through something to go off by herself. It is a mystery. We are surrounded by fields here so she could be anywhere.”
Mrs Bailey was last seen on April 11 when she was seen out walking with her dachshund Boris.
She vanished just weeks after the fifth anniversary of the death of her husband John Sinfield, 65, who drowned when he was caught in a rip tide while on holiday in Barbados.
However earlier in the week, her friend and grief counsellor, Shelley J Whitehead, said Helen had moved on from the loss and was loving her life.
She told Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Helen was well over that loss. I don't want to discuss personal details about Helen but being her bereavement coach for a couple of years I'm well acquainted with her whole process.
“She had moved forward with her life and was really loving the life that she lived.”
Ms Whitehead added that writing about losing her husband had been “incredibly helpful” for Helen and urged her to get in contact.
After the tragic accident, Helen began a blog called Planet Grief, which poignantly described how she was coping with the grief of being widowed. The blog was later turned into a successful book called, When Bad Things Happen in Good Bikinis.
In 2013 she moved in with Mr Stewart, who had also lost his wife in tragic circumstances.
Detective Inspector Lynda Coates, who is leading the investigation, said: “We understand that before Helen was reported missing she had apparently stated that she needed a little time to herself.
“However it has now been over a week since she was last seen or heard from and we are growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.
“We are keeping an open mind on the circumstances and have been carrying out a number of enquiries in order to try and locate Helen and these are continuing with specialist searches in the Royston area.”
“I would ask Helen to please get in contact with us if she sees this appeal to let us know she is safe and well.”