Tragic father demands answers

A SUFFOLK father is demanding answers after the circumstances surrounding the death of his 40-year-old son in Africa took a distressing twist.Last month The Evening Star reported that the parents of Dean Goodchild, originally from Elmswell, were told their son was taken ill and died of a massive heart attack in South Africa on August 18.

A SUFFOLK father is demanding answers after the circumstances surrounding the death of his 40-year-old son in Africa took a distressing twist.

Last month The Evening Star reported that the parents of Dean Goodchild, originally from Elmswell, were told their son was taken ill and died of a massive heart attack in South Africa on August 18.

However the family, still grieving following their loss, has been rocked by disturbing news after it emerged 40-year-old Mr Goodchild's death certificate has the cause of death listed as “unnatural causes”.

Meanwhile the Star has learned that a close friend of Mr Goodchild, who had visited him in South Africa, died in similar circumstances less than a week after Dean's death.


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The friend, who lived in Thailand, was taken ill on his return to the country and Dean's father Roger, 65, believes there may be a link between the two deaths.

He has now contacted the Foreign Office in a bid to get his son's autopsy report to try and find out what really happened.

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Mr Goodchild said: “I was told it was a heart attack but the death certificate says 'unnatural causes'.

“What's that all about?

“I have requested the autopsy report through the Foreign Office and I will definitely get someone to look over it and decipher it.

“I want to know whether what we have been told is what really happened.”

Despite his attempts to get to the truth Mr Goodchild fears a notoriously slow system in South Africa will mean it being months before he gets the document and has doubts if whether he will ever discover how his son died.

The former Stowupland High School student had been living in South Africa for around four months when he was taken ill on Saturday August 18.

Complaining of indigestion, he was taken by a friend to his home in the coastal town of Hermanus, near Cape Town, but died later.

Mr Goodchild left three teenage sons from an earlier marriage.

He moved to Thailand in 2002 to set up a bar with his girlfriend Lang and it was in April this year the pair moved to South Africa to run a bar there.

Roger Goodchild said that prior to his son's death he had been visited by an old friend from Thailand, known as “Aussie Mark”.

He said that Mark arrived back in Thailand the day after Dean died and complained of being ill.

After spending some time in hospital with what doctors believed to be a virus he discharged himself only to later die of a seizure.

Mr Goodchild said: “It is really strange that Dean died in these circumstances and then a few days later his friend who had been visiting him died in a similar way.”

“It does seem a very big coincidence.”

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