Sarah Wellgreen murder: the clues that led police to suspect her ex-partner Ben Lacomba

Killer Ben Lacomba did not act like an innocent man.

By Steve Deeks
Monday, 28th October 2019, 12:46 pm
Sarah Wellgreen (left) and Ben Lacomba (right) who has been found guilty of her murder. Picture: Family Handout/ Kent Police/PA Wire
Sarah Wellgreen (left) and Ben Lacomba (right) who has been found guilty of her murder. Picture: Family Handout/ Kent Police/PA Wire

Hours after the last time his former lover Sarah Wellgreen was seen alive, taxi driver Lacomba took a late-night drive.

When he came back his car was covered in mud.

He called 999 to report her missing the next day, but it soon became clear to police that he was not the worried ex-husband he was making himself out to be.

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A CCTV photo dated 10/10/18 issued by Kent Police of a Vauxhall Zafira belonging to Ben Lacomba Picture: Kent Police/PA Wire

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Now 39, Lacomba met Ms Wellgreen online in 2004 and met up with her in Spain in 2005.

The pair moved in together in New Ash Green in Kent, but separated in 2013 and Ms Wellgreen moved out in 2014.

In May 2018 she moved back in with Lacomba and their children.

The pair co-owned the family home and slept in separate bedrooms.

But in the months before her disappearance, Ms Wellgreen had been preparing to leave Lacomba, applying for a mortgage to either buy him out or purchase a new home for her and her children.

Lacomba knew that in early October 2018 she had been successful in securing a new job that came with a big pay rise.

The next day, October 9, she came home from work.

That is the last time anybody other than Lacomba saw her.

Lacomba was caught on CCTV driving away from the home at 2am on October 10, before returning two hours later.

His taxi was muddy the next morning, but was then cleaned.

Lacomba reported Ms Wellgreen missing on October 11. Her body has never been found.

In the days that followed, Lacomba told lie after lie to police about his movements, jurors at his trial heard.

He told the court that he ‘tried everything possible’ to help in the days after she disappeared and had been ‘as open and honest as possible’.

But before police could examine his mobile phones, he took out the Sim cards and threw them in the River Thames.

Internet searches after Lacomba was arrested and released on bail show he had been looking up information on how to tell if your telephone has been tracked, the court heard.

In seven hours of police interviews after his arrest, Lacomba was silent throughout.

Lacomba killed Ms Wellgreen in a ‘calculated manner designed to avoid detection, to leave no trace’ and to ‘remove her from his life forever’, the prosecution said.