Mum prepares her girls for bad news

Lisa Gleaves (35) with her daughters (left to right) Ellie (8), Leah (5) and Kayleigh (16) Waller. Picture by FRANK REID

Lisa Gleaves (35) with her daughters (left to right) Ellie (8), Leah (5) and Kayleigh (16) Waller. Picture by FRANK REID

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A MUM has told of the heartbreaking moment she held her children and told them their daddy may not be coming home.

Police have visited the family of Darren Waller, who has been missing for almost five months, after a body was found on Wednesday.

His ex-wife, Lisa Gleaves, has been told it may be another two days before she finds out if it is the dad-of-three as a post-mortem examination needs to be carried out, including a DNA test.

Lisa, has told their heartbroken children, Kayleigh, 16, Ellie, eight, and five-year-old Leah, that detectives think that it may be their 36-year-old dad.

The two youngest children have been bravely continuing to attend Owton Manor Primary School, while Kayleigh is fighting back her emotions as she goes through her GCSE exams at Dyke House Sports and Technology College.

Lisa, 36, of Kells Grove, Hartlepool, said: “You can’t hide anything from children. They hear the news and go on the internet, you can’t stop it.

“I had to explain what is happening and we all had a hug and a good cry. It was really hard as I didn’t know what to say because things aren’t clear, but we have to prepare for whatever happens.

“It’s horrible. Most people don’t go through this in their lifetime, but they have been so brave. They are in bits though and are shattered.

“Kayleigh is doing her exams and had an interview for a college, that’s enough for someone her age without this happening as well.

“But we have been each other’s rock and are trying to be as strong as we can.

“We don’t want it to be Darren, but that means it’s someone else’s son or daughter or mum or dad. It’s awful, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

The spot behind The Phoenix Centre, where the body was found at 7pm on the Central Estate, is not far from where Darren and Lisa lived as a couple for 11 years while Darren’s mum, Kathleen, is currently a resident of the nearby West View Lodge nursing home.

But Lisa said, if it is Darren, she could not understand why he would be found there.

Extensive searches have been carried out since Darren went missing on January 9, with police officers and family and friends looking all over, including on wasteland and in caravan park and empty houses.

Lisa added: “It’s somewhere we didn’t even think of looking. I don’t think he had any real reason to go there.

“There were places we thought meant something to him or where he could live, but this never came into it.

“The police said they will tell us as soon as they know so now we’re waiting by the phone or for someone to knock on the door.”