Phillip Lewis murder inquiry: Dog owner tells of 'gruesome' body discovery in Oakwood Pond in Harlow

Credit: PA

Local Harlow man Paul said his dog Brandy made the discovery on New Year's Eve.
Harlow man Paul said his dog Brandy made the discovery on New Year's Eve. Credit: PA

The owner of a dog which found a body in a pond has described the "gruesome" moment his pet made the discovery.

Essex Police confirmed on Thursday that 59-year-old Phillip Lewis' body had been found in Oakwood Pond in Harlow, Essex, on New Year’s Eve.

Two men have been arrested as part of the murder investigation, with the force saying Mr Lewis's remains were likely to have been there for "weeks".

Local man Paul, who did not wish to give his last name, said his dog Brandy found body parts in the pond.

He said: “It was my dog with my son-in-law and they were at the pond, and the dog pulled him down towards the water.

“(My son-in-law) thought he was going for the ball because the ball was in the water.

“But no, he went through the water and stopped dead - you know how dogs do - and there were two body parts.”

Brandy "stopped dead" when he found the body. Credit: PA

Paul said the dog had found a pelvis as well as another body part.

He said his son-is-law was “quite upset about it all”, adding: “It was a gruesome find.

“It is not nice at all, especially for all who live around here – especially for my neighbour who knew him, which is even worse,” Paul said.

“I don’t know him but I know he was quite a likeable fellow.”

Phillip Lewis - also known as "Scottish Phil" to friends - had lived in Harlow for many years and was well known around the town, with "a wide circle of friends who he socialised with", Essex Police said.

A 52-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and a 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Both men are described as being from the local area and are being questioned in custody.

On Thursday Det Supt Rob Kirby of Essex Police said his team would "work tirelessly to bring those responsible for his murder to justice".

In an appeal for potential witnesses to come forward, anyone with any information is asked to contact Essex Police online at or by calling 101.

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