During the recent storms our Hull based client had sat in his home watching the flood waters rise. Eventually, the water began seeping into his lounge and it was not long before every room in his bungalow was knee deep in water and sewage. The property was his pride and joy and held many memories of his deceased wife and their life together since their retirement and relocation from their previous home, a Post Office in Bradford.
The client struggled to stack furniture and possessions in every room in an attempt to stop them being fouled by the filthy liquid swirling around his legs as he waded through each room. He was particularly careful to protect his deceased wife’s jewellery box and her ashes urn. The amount of damage caused by the flood made it impossible for the client to remain in his Hull property, so he was forced to move out and stay with relatives. Two of whom had helped stack some of the items out of reach of the water before driving him to his temporary home back in Bradford .
The flood waters eventually subsided and the client was keen to return to his Hull home. The tide marks on the interior walls and the squelching of sodden carpet underfoot was the only evidence that the flood left at the scene. Slowly over the next few days the client removed all of the furniture from the home, some went straight into a skip having been contaminated by the flood waters and those which had been stacked out of reach were piled into a removals van to be taken into storage.
The insurers sent their representative to assess the claim and it was then that the client realised that he would be out of his home for some time. Because of all the confusion and mad dash to protect as many belongings as he could at the time of the flood, the client was unable to give a full account of what was lost or damaged so it was agreed that the client would visit the storage facility and log all of his possessions and then produce a list of the items that were missing or subsequently disposed of
At the storage unit the client went through his possessions one at a time, often evoking memories of the past and treasured moments with his wife. It was during this process that the client found his wife’s jewellery box. He opened it to hear the clockwork box play a small tune as a ballerina turned around and around on her pointed shoes and then he looked inside and the box was empty.
The client was absolutely devastated. In desperation he searched every item in the lock up knowing all along that he would have never removed the jewellery from the box but desperate to find them just the same. Over the next week there were many conversations in the extended family about what could have happened to the jewellery and in an effort to clear their names, the two family members who had
helped to stack the furniture suggested that they should be polygraphed to clear them of any suspicion.
Both relatives attended our Hull office with the client. He was apologetic to his relatives but they were all in agreement that the “rumour factory” had started and fingers were being pointed at them as the only other people having contact with the bungalow and unhindered access to all of the rooms.
Both relatives, a husband and wife, were insistent that they had or would never steal from the client and in fact had never seen either the jewellery box or its contents, ever.
Our client was pleased and relieved when both the husband and wife passed the polygraph examination as no deception indicated. It hadn’t of course solved the mystery but it had absolved the relatives involved.