By Hugh Dunnett, Crime Correspondent
World hide and seek champion Darren Hayes has been found dead in a wardrobe, police have confirmed.
Officers say Mr Hayes, 37, disappeared two weeks ago while training for the next world championships.
They say he was practising with members of his family – but he was so good they were unable to find him.
Police spokeswoman Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “Officers were called to an address in Haverhill, Suffolk after the discovery of a man’s body in a wardrobe.
“Unfortunately Darren Hayes lay undiscovered for weeks while training for the hide and seek world championships.
“His family had looked under the bed, behind the curtains and even behind the door, but none of them had thought to check the wardrobe.
“It’s this sort of skill which makes a hide and seek world champion – but unfortunately it was also the death of him.”
It is believed that Mr Hayes’ family got bored and stopped looking for him after four hours.
But rather than give himself up, plumber Mr Hayes stayed quietly in the wardrobe for as long as he could.
Tragically be died from dehydration and was only found when his wife, Eleanor went to hang up some shirts.
“It’s awfully sad,” said Mrs Hayes. “But he was so good at hiding that none of us thought to check in the wardrobe.
“But it’s how he would have wanted to go.”
My Hayes also leaves two children – Darren Jr, 10 and eight-year-old Jasmin.
The next Hide and Seek World Championship is due to be held in Bristol next month.
With Mr Hayes, who has won the title for four years in a row, now dead, French hider Pierre L’Escargot is the red-hot favourite to win the title.