Son calls the Suffolk father who sought out his daughter's killer a hero

Julie Ward

A father who devoted decades to figuring out who murdered his daughter in Kenya was a hero, according to his son.

On the Maasai Mara reserve in September 1988, the body of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk-based wildlife photographer Julie Ward, 28, was found. Her slaying has never resulted in a conviction.

Early this month, John Ward, who invested $2 million of his own money in the investigation, passed away at the age of 89.

In Bury St. Edmunds, his funeral will take place later.

According to his family, the event will honor not only Mr. Ward but also his wife Jan, who passed away two weeks prior to him, and Julie.

Bob Ward
Bob Ward praised his father for being "absolutely incredible" in his pursuit of justice.

Bob Ward claimed that his family had "all accepted" the fact that his father had failed to secure justice for Julie.

As soon as the primary suspect passed away, it was clear, in his opinion, that no trial would take place.

Dad was undoubtedly at ease with what transpired because we are aware of what took place; the issue is why it occurred and why it was kept a secret. ".

Julie Ward
Her father found the remains of Julie Ward.

On a solo photography safari, Miss Ward vanished near the end. Her burned and dismembered body was discovered by her father one week after she was last seen alive, on September 6, 1988.

Kenyan authorities initially claimed she had been attacked by animals, but they eventually recognized she had been murdered after her father uncovered more proof.

John Ward
Bob claimed that John Ward, shown in the photo, was not going to let anyone get away with the murder.

According to Bob Ward, his father was "extraordinary with detail" and had the capacity to "assimilate a lot of facts and come to a very reasonable conclusion.".

Although it had an impact on family life, he added that it had also become a part of it.   .

"Dad was very good at working on Julie/Kenya, putting it in his box, and then resuming being a father, and going up to the asparagus farm in Norfolk and chatting about football or politics or whatever. ".

From left to right, Bob, Tim and John Ward
To his brother Tim, sister Julie, and their mother Jan, according to Bob Ward, their father John was a "hero.".

He claimed that in addition to "anger," his father's motivation for working on the case was a memory of the moment he discovered his daughter's remains.

He declared that he "couldn't let somebody get away with it.".

I'm not sure if that's resentment or a father's love. All I know is that experience gave him new inspiration over time. ".

John and Jan Ward on their wedding day
Within two weeks of one another, Mr. Ward and his wife Jan, both 89, passed away.

Family life was never the same after her "horrendous" death, he continued.

"Up until that point, we were a normal family playing football on a Sunday morning at the neighborhood club and going to the pub.

So, it did temporarily turn our lives upside down. but somehow, we all managed to find a solution. ".

John and Jan Ward sitting on a bench
At their funeral in Bury St. Edmunds, Mr. and Mrs. Ward's and their daughter Julie's lives will be honored.

Six years prior to his passing, Mr. Ward had been collaborating with his father on the book's completion as he made more than 100 trips to Kenya in an effort to find those responsible.

A documentary is being produced, and he intends to publish the book.

"Dad didn't know he was special; he didn't know that the drive, the bravery, the tenacity, the forensic, was something other people didn't do.

We consider him to be somewhat of a hero; he wouldn't know that and wouldn't say it, but I can.

"To me, Tim, Julie, and mum, he is a hero, and I think what he has accomplished is truly incredible. " .

Jan and John Ward holding Julie when she was a baby in 1961
Julie, shown in a 1961 photo as a baby, passed away at the age of 28.

Due to insufficient evidence, two game rangers were exonerated in 1992 of killing Miss Ward.

In 1997, a new team of Kenyan police officers reexamined the case, and in 1999, a gamekeeper was tried for the crime and found not guilty.

Unlawful killing was found to have occurred in a 2004 Ipswich inquest.

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