Charlie Saywell: Mother of soldier found dead in Kent river desperate for answers as police investigate

Charlie Saywell (Kent Police)
Charlie Saywell (Kent Police)

The mother of a young soldier found dead in a river in Kent is pleading for anyone with information on his final movements to get in touch.

The body of Charlie Saywell, 25, was pulled from the River Medway in Chatham around 10.45am on March 5, the morning after he had been on a night out with friends.

Police believe he may have mistakenly got into the wrong car the night before he died, where he was reportedly attacked by the driver, and left with facial injuries.

Police are trying to piece together his final movements, and work out where he visited the night before he died.

Charlie’s mother, Victoria Brown, said: “If you have witnessed my son Charlie’s movement during the early hours of that morning and can offer any information, however small, please can you contact Kent Police so our family can have some answers about what happened to him.”

Kent Police says Charlie had been out with friends in Medway the night before he died, before taking a taxi to his home in Brompton.

But instead of going inside, he is thought to have decided to walk into Chatham town centre between 12.10am and 2.40am.

Officers understand Charlie walked a route that took him past Primark in Chatham High Street, and visited a fast-food shop.

“He may have mistakenly got into an unidentified car nearby, where it is reported he was assaulted by the driver and suffered facial injuries,” said Kent Police in a statement.

He is understood to have called a friend or family member, and told them about the incident.

Kent Police is not treating Charlie’s death as suspicious, but is working to piece together his final movements.

Detective Sergeant Karen Caulfield said: “While we do not have specific information about where Charlie went between 12.10am and 2.40am, he had a phone conversation before his death which indicated he may have suffered an assault in the town during that period.

“We are appealing to anyone who may have seen Charlie walking in the Gillingham and Chatham areas during these times.

“We are particularly keen to hear from anybody who saw him in a fast-food outlet or involved in an altercation in or near to a car.

“At this stage we are not treating Charlie’s death as suspicious, however, it is important we understand where he visited and what happened to him prior to his tragic death.”

Charlie was last seen wearing a dark navy coloured short sleeved t-shirt, khaki coloured cargo trousers and white trainers.

On a Gofundme page, Charlie’s friend Joe Leishman paid tribute to him as “a remarkable individual - a true role model in both stature and character”.

He said Charlie was a Sapper in the British Army, adding: “Serving proudly as part of the Royal Engineers, Charlie exemplified dedication and service to his country.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent Police appeal line on 01634 792209, quoting reference 46/36226/24. Drivers with dashcam and residents or businesses with private CCTV are also asked to check for relevant footage.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete their online form.