On Saturday 18th June 1988, Marie Wilks was murdered when making a phone call to the emergency services on the M50 at Bushley (Between Ledbury and Tewkesbury).
Marie was driving a Morris Marina Coupe when it broke down. Marie made the difficult decision to leave two children in the car so that she could walk to the emergency telephone. Marie then called the emergency services and asked the police call handler to call her parents to get them to pick her and the children up. However, when police call her father, they discover that he is out and wouldn’t be able to pick Marie and the children up. When police attempt to relay this information Marie, there is no response.
At around 8pm that evening, police announce that Marie is missing, after the children were spotted by police walking up the hard shoulder of the motorway.
With no sightings of Marie, the following day (Sunday 19th June 1988), police discover blood in the telephone box that Marie had made the call to the emergency services from. A day later, (Monday 20th June 1988), police discover Marie’s body approximately three miles from where her car had broke down. Her body was found down an embankment and police soon discovered that Marie had been stabbed in her throat, cutting the carotid artery. She also had been hit or kicked on the left side of her head reported police at the time.
The following week, (Friday 24th June 1988), police released an artist’s impression of a man seen at the scene. They also conducted a reconstruction of the murder, in an attempt to get any potential witnesses to come forward with vital information.
Police then arrested a man called Eddie Browning. Eddie was said to look extremely similar to the artist impression. On Wednesday 29th June 1988, Eddie Browning was charged with the murder of Marie Wilks at Worcester Magistrates Court. On Friday 10th November 1989, Eddie Browning was found guilty of the murder of Marie Wilks. However, Eddie was then released in 1994, by the appeal court who decided his conviction was unsafe, because evidence was kept from his trial by the Police.
Eddie was later awarded damages of £600,000. In May 2018, 63-year-old Mr Browning was found dead at his home in Wales and the investigation remains unsolved.