The body of British rugby league star Bryn Hargreaves has been found more than a year after he vanished in the United States, his family has confirmed. The ex-St Helens star, 37, was reported missing by his employer in January 2022 after he did not show up for work, leading to a massive police and tracker dog search in West Virginia.
His mother Maria and younger brother David, 34, had traveled to America in order to help in the search for him but nothing was found. Bryn was employed as a gas and oil pipe safety inspector and was living alone after divorcing Amy Bombard two years earlier when he vanished.
Found at Last
Hargreaves' body was found 14 months after he mysteriously vanished. Unable to find him, his family launched a GoFundMe page In June to help pay for a private investigator but there has been no trace of Hargreaves.
Finally, on Sunday, his family announced in a Facebook post on Sunday that Hargreaves' body was found. "RIP Bryn Hargreaves. With incredible sadness I can confirm after 14 months we have finally found Bryn.
"We still do not know the cause of death or what actually happened on 3/1/22. Thanks to all those that have helped in the search. We would appreciate a little space and will keep you updated when we have any further information."
It is still unclear under what circumstances Hargreaves died and how his body was discovered after 14 months.
His family said that Hargreaves was "isolated" during the Covid lockdown in the United States and that he might move back to the UK. However, they last spoke to him on January 3 of last year, when "he seemed fine," they added.
Officers worried he might have been kidnapped when they found his door unlocked, shower running, and all of his stuff, including his phone and Mac laptop, at his apartment in Morgantown, West Virginia after he suddenly disappeared.
"Not something I wanted to be sharing. I'm in bits #heartbroken. My beautiful son Bryn. I can't think of any words to describe the pain xx," his mother Maria wrote on social media.
Hargreaves was reported missing to the Monongalia County Sheriff's Office on January 16, according to a spokesman for the agency at the time of his disappearance. Sniffer dogs were sent to the Morgantown neighborhood of Cheat Lake, but to no avail. "It's almost like he was abducted from his shower," Gareth stated at the time.
Speaking to the PA agency in June 2022, Gareth Hargreaves said: "Bryn had mental health issues and was in severe pain with his back from a car accident in December.
"I think the police thought he'd done something to himself and that certainly is a possibility that we also fear. But five months later, surely a body would have turned up.
"It's a bit strange if you wanted to disappear to leave your apartment unlocked with all your ID and some of your prized possessions. It's one of the reasons I can't leave this. If he's had a rubbish time and had enough so he's taken himself away, that's fair enough.
"But if something has happened and we didn't try to help or find him I could never forgive myself."
Police launched a manhunt but no solid leads were found. His family set up a GoFundMe campaign to fund the $25,000 needed to hire a private detective, but all searches turned up nothing.
On January 28, Hargreaves' mother and brother took a plane to the United States to begin a seven-week search for Bryn.
Hargreaves, a Wigan native, played for Wigan Warriors, St. Helens, and Bradford Bulls in 175 Super League games. He relocated to the States after quitting rugby at the young age of 26 after losing interest in the sport.
Hargreaves, who was employed in the oil and gas sector, and his American wife Amy, whom he had met while on vacation in Mexico in 2013, lived in Pittsburgh.
He married Amy in front of both of their families in Pittsburgh, but after four years they began to live apart and eventually filed for divorce.