Date: 16 Sep 2018
Richard Andrews was last seen on Saturday 16 September 2017 and his body was later found on the banks of the River Neath at Neath Abbey Wharf, Skewen on 29 September 2018.
Although he was last seen in September 2017, he was not reported as being missing until January 2018.
An open verdict was returned at his inquest.
Following the discovery of his body the police opened a murder investigation on 30 July 2019 and later stated that after they had thoroughly investigated his disappearance that they suspected that he had been murdered and that drugs had been involved.
Two people were arrested on suspicion of murder but were later released with no further action due to a lack of evidence. They were:
Richard Andrews was also known as Monkey and was said to be well known in the Neath area.
The police said that they thought that people in Neath and Briton Ferry might have 'significant information'.
Richard Andrews was described as a vulnerable individual and it was thought that he might have been taken advanatage of.
The police said, 'At the time of his disappearance it is believed he was involved with individuals from the Liverpool area, who were dealing drugs in and around the Neath and Briton Ferry areas'.
It was also heard that at the time of his dissapearance that he had been 'afraid of Scousers taking over Neath and causing trouble' who it was heard had attacked him.
It was heard that Richard Andrews had turned up to an appointment at a drug misuse agency, Dyfodol, in Neath Abbey, with facial injuries and had said that some people from Liverpool had burst into his flat and attacked him, saying, 'three men had beaten him up in his flat'. He had had black eyes and a broken nose but had declined to seek medical treatment. The police said, 'He said men had assaulted him at his home and poured water over him and told him it was petrol and they threatened to set him alight'.
The police added that he had called them out on Saturday 16 September 2017, the last day he was seen, saying that he had been 'afraid of Scousers knocking on his door' and found that he had put a mattress up against his door to protect himself. A policeman that had attended his flat said that Richard Andrews had told them that, 'people from Liverpool were taking over Neath and causing concern'.
Richard Andrews was described as a long-term drug user who lived a 'chaotic' lifestyle and at the time he disappeared he had been receiving a prescription for methadone.
The police said that they had questioned people involved in the drugs scene in Neath Port Talbot but they had been reluctant to give witness statements. However, they said that one person told them, 'Some Scousers were bullying him to mind some gear [heroin] and had been accusing him of taking some and were challenging him even though he insisted he had not. He did not want to return to his flat as he was frightened of the Scousers'.
Another friend of Richard Andrews had said that when they had gone to Richard Andrews's flat one time to stay for a few days that when some Scousers showed up that Richard Andrews had hidden in a cupboard.
When the police had gone to his flat in January 2018 after he was reported missing they found the base of a bed up against the door and a pile of unopened mail. The mail had included letters from his drug support team notifying him of missing appointments as well as letters from a pawn-broker notifying him that he was owed thousands of pounds.
The police investigation into his death was said to have involved:
Richard Andrews's body was found by a man that had been using the remote location where his body was found to grow a wild cannabis crop.