Canoeist's wife 'missing' after leaving Panama




By Tom Leonard and Andrew Beatty in Panama and Richard Edwards
Last Updated: 2:54am GMT 07/12/2007

The wife of "back from the dead" canoeist John Darwin has flown out of Panama but police were left waiting at Heathrow airport not knowing if she would arrive there, the Telegraph can reveal.

Anne Darwin, 55, has stated her intention to return to the UK but it was unclear if she would do so immediately or whether she was on a flight to another destination.
Police sources said officers were waiting at Heathrow ready to arrest her on suspicion of fraud.

Mr Darwin, 57, was today being questioned by detectives having been passed fit for interview. They will put to him that he faked his own death in 2002 and has been recently living in Panama.

It also emerged today that one of Mr Darwin's sons has left his home after writing cryptic notes to his girlfriend.

Flatmates of Mark Darwin, 31, called police after they awoke to find he had cleared out his room in North London.

Mr Darwin, who left his job with a property firm last week, apparently left a rambling notebook addressed to his girlfriend Felicity Watts which contained messages, instructions for arranging meetings and poems.

"It's got codes on it and stuff about going to phone boxes and not telling people your name," said one of his flatmates.

"It had instructions on it. It was a really strange note ... like someone writing something over and over. I'm a bit freaked out."

Cleveland Police have stressed that Mark Darwin is not suspected of a crime and therefore has no restrictions on his movements.

The new disappearance in the Darwin family comes as police released a joint statement from Mark and his brother Anthony complaining that they had been betrayed by their parents.

The two expressed "anger and confusion" at the rollercoaster run of events and said they feared they were "victims of a large scam".

The brothers said that they had gone "from the height of elation at finding him to be alive to the depths of despair at the recent stories of fraud and these latest pictures".

Referring to reports today that their mother had confessed to knowing that her husband was alive, they said: "If the papers' allegations of a confession from our mam are true, then we very much feel that we have been the victims in a large scam.

"How could our mam continue to let us believe our dad had died when he was very much alive?"

They added that they had not spoken to either parent since their father's arrest on Tuesday evening.

Mark Darwin worked for EC Harris property firm until last Friday while Anthony left his insurance job in August.

They said they were co-operating with police and appealed for sightings of their father over the last five years.

The brothers spoke shortly after it emerged that their mother had known all along that her husband John, who has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, was alive and well.

Speaking from her new home in Panama City, she said yesterday: "My sons are never going to forgive me. They are going to hate me.

"It looks as if I am going to be left without a husband, a home or a family now."

She admitted knowledge of her husband's whereabouts after a photograph showing her with her husband alive and well in Panama last year emerged.

She told lawyers that she and her husband had bought a flat in Panama and now faces questioning by British police for allegedly claiming thousands of pounds in life insurance and pensions over the past five years since her husband's supposed death.