Heartbroken parents’ appeal over final 13 hours before son’s death

Bill and Gloria Rouse are trying to find out what happened in the final hours of the life of their s

Bill and Gloria Rouse are trying to find out what happened in the final hours of the life of their son Steven whose body was discovered in Bunwell. Picture: Simon Parkin - Credit: Simon Parkin

The parents of a man who was found dead on the playing field in a quiet Norfolk village have launched a fresh appeal in the hope of discovering what happened in his final hours.  

Steven Rouse, 53, of Long Road, Tibenham, was discovered at the Turnpike community playing field in Bunwell on October 26, 2018.

Steven Rouse, 53, a builder whose specialised in historic brick work was found dead in Bunwell on Oc

Steven Rouse, 53, a builder whose specialised in historic brick work was found dead in Bunwell on October 26, 2018. - Credit: Bill and Gloria Rouse

His parents Bill and Gloria Rouse, who live in Lewisham in South London, have begun a campaign to leaflet car boot sales and other events in Norfolk in a fresh bid to jog people’s memories. 

They are appealing for help to find out what happened to their son between him reportedly leaving the home he shared with his partner at 10pm on October 25, and his body being found at 11.30am the following day.

The Turnpike community playing field in Bunwell where Steven Rouse was found. Picture: Simon Parkin

The Turnpike community playing field in Bunwell where Steven Rouse was found.  - Credit: Simon Parkin

Mrs Rouse said: “We are still trying to find out his last movements. We are in limbo at the moment. It cannot bring him back but finding out what happened in these hours would be a closure in a way.” 

In 2019 an inquest found that Mr Rouse took his own life. But his parents have doubts about the circumstances surrounding his death. 

“To us most of it doesn’t make sense. He was so full of life, he loved living,” said Mrs Rouse. 

The black Audi A4 S-Line car that Steven Rouse had borrowed and was driving when his body was discov

The black Audi A4 S-Line car that Steven Rouse had borrowed and was driving when his body was discovered in Bunwell. - Credit: Bill and Gloria Rouse

They believe someone must have seen their son or a black Audi A4 S-Line car that he had borrowed for a trip to the Lake District over the previous four days in the 13 hours before his death. 

Most Read

“We think he must have been in the South Norfolk area during those hours,” said Mrs Rouse. “We don’t think we would have gone far because he had just driven from the Lake District back to Tibenham.

“He had money in his wallet and he could easily have bought something while he was out. He had low blood sugar so he had to eat every few hours. We think someone must have seen him.” 

One of the leaflets Mr and Mrs Rouse have been distributing

One of the leaflets Mr and Mrs Rouse have been distributing appealing for information over their son's death. - Credit: Bill and Gloria Rouse

Two mobile phones belonging to Mr Rouse and his desktop computer found to be missing after his death have never been found.

His parents have unsuccessfully tried to access his phone records as part of efforts to discover more about his final hours. 

* Anyone with information can submit it on 07888 613937 or via bnr6687@hotmail.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter