Government urged to listen to families of missing people

Here are some heartrending stories from courageous families image who will be attending Wednesday’s March for The Missing. I don’t think I will be able to keep a dry eye.

The march begins at 10am on March 12th at the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial, opposite 32 Great Cumberland Place, London W1. The families hope the march will highlight the scale of their helplessness, the effect a missing person has on families, and persuade the government to provide funding for a support group.

They presently feel so isolated, unsure who or where to turn for help and support. Unlike a death in the family, the traumatic unexplained disappearance of a loved one is something that time doesn’t heal.

During the march, the names of the missing will read out and a single daffodil thrown to the ground to represent each person.

Vinny Derrick – Missing since 29th August 2003 – age at image disappearance 28

Vonny Derrick, Vinny’s mum:

I am Vinny’s mum and only the people that are in the same predicament as myself will understand that from the time yours eyes open till there are forced to close, all that is on your mind is have I done everything in my power to find my son. The police in the beginning showed concern, but after that we were just another number on the register. My life has changed in all sorts of ways, it will never be the same, but if I could have some sort of closure, then in my own heart I would have him back where he belongs with the people that love one ever can experience what the pain is of never knowing where there love ones are. My life is on hold till we find him I will do anything to help any one in my situation.”

Vicky Derrick, Vinny’s wife:

“My husband Vinny has been missing for 5 years this August and we are still no nearer to finding an answer as to what has happened to him than we were 5 years ago; I fully support the March for the Missing and feel that a lot more needs to be done to help us families, the ones left behind to cope and deal with the situation that we find ourselves in through no fault of our own. I have found it extremely difficult to cope both financially and emotionally since my husband went ‘missing’ and have received very little help – everywhere I go for help people tell me this is a very unique situation and really don’t know what to say to me!! In all this I have a six year old little boy who was two when his dad went missing and more than anything I want to be able to tell him where his dad is and what happened. Louis has a dad that he knows everything about but doesn’t understand why he doesn’t come home like his friends dads?”

Craig Hetherington – Missing since 22nd February 2003 – image age at disappearance 22

Sandra Flintoft, Craig’s mum:

“I am the mother of Craig Hetherington, the younger of my two beautiful sons. Craig has been missing now for 5 years. Craig went out for a drink in Middlesbrough with his friends, but failed to turn up for a taxi home, and has not been seen from that day to this. Unless this nightmare has happened to you, and I would not wish this living hell on anyone, you cannot possibly image how your life is effected. The years creep by and you wonder how you are going to cope or ever laugh or smile again, somehow you find the strength and courage to carry on. I cannot give up hope of ever seeing my son again, and yet I wonder what else we can do to try to find out what happened to him in the early hours of the 22nd February 2003. We are one of the lucky families whose situation was taken seriously by the police from the minute we reported Craig missing, but this support can only last so long. As with most other families of missing people we now need closure. We need help and advice on what and where to go once the initial police investigations are complete.We need sound practical advice from a dedicated team of people who can help us during this sad time in the lives.”

Damien Nettles – Missing since 2nd November 1996 – age at disappearance 16

image Valerie Nettles, Damien’s mum:

My name is Valerie Nettles, mother of Damien Nettles who went missing age 16 from the Isle of Wight. Damien was a sweet natured boy, who loved his family, he made us laugh, he was gentle and caring and very funny. A light went out in our lives when he went missing. It was totally out of character for him to go off and not tell anybody where he was going. We never believed he ran away. The police were very apathetic. They told us that he had gone off on a “funny five minutes to sort himself out.” Nothing would sway them from that premise, even though we asked them to get the spotter plane and dogs out to scour the Island, we were refused. The family made posters, did the searches in the freezing pouring rain, while the police did nothing. As you know, the first 48 hours is the most important and it was over a week before we got to see a detective! They even lost evidence because of their apathy. Our family have clawed tooth and nail for 11 years to get Damien’s name and face out there in the public eye. This did not just happen for us, we had to MAKE it happen and it has been an uphill battle to keep it going. We need to know what happened to our son, we need closure. An organisation that is dedicated to giving practical advise to the families left behind to cope would be a great benefit for existing families, and for those who are yet to experience this trauma.”

Eddie Gibson – Missing since 24th October 2004 – age at disappearance 19

Jo Clarke, Eddie’s mum:

“My name is Jo and I am the mother of EDDIE GIBSON whoimage went missing in Cambodia October 2004. He told me he was coming home on 1st Nov 04 on a Thai Airways flight. His father and I went to Heathrow to meet him, he was never on the flight. After that we had a terrible experience of trying to find out what had happened to Eddie. Because of the Data Protection Act it became a nightmare as Eddie was over the age of 18 and nobody would tell me anything, banks, airlines, university etc………………………… Due to the lack of government funding we spent over £25,000 making 7 trips in total to Cambodia knocking on embassy doors pleading with them to help us, they simple do not have the funds to help. More money is desperately needed to help the parents of our loved ones that may find themselves in difficulty, or as Eddie did, dissappear. Owing to so many youngsters going travelling more money is needed to help if there is a problem.”

Steven Cook – Missing since 1st September 2005 age at disappearance 20

Norman Cook, Steven’s dad:

imageSteven went missing on 1st September 2005 whilst on the first day of his holiday with friends in Malia, Crete.

I wish I’d said goodbye, gave him a big hug and and told him how much we all loved him and how we had always done how we always will.

The years and months have passed since that day he went missing and there has not been a second in each minute that we all don’t miss him.Our family have supported each other through this time and we have stopped taking any time together for granted,we also have have become sensitised to other families in this situation.

Whenever we see news headlines of a missing person we know all too well the emotional churn that the families are going through,we also know the sense of loss and loneliness they feel

Nobody officially comes forward to help you through the situation,to council you through it all. Thankfully, the open arms of the community and often those of strangers keep you going as much as anything.

Through such support we try to slowly rebuild our lives,well I say rebuild,it’s more like reconstruction,like building a house ripped down by a tornado with the remnant materials which are left, lives cobbled together,lives which go on although the nightmares remain and are always evident,that sums up the state of ‘in between nowhere’ we find ourselves in.

We like many families in this situation will never give up on our search for our loved ones and in coming together to find the answers we all so badly need it gives me a sense of unity with others that have lived the same nigthmare and understand the need for formal recognition and change in the attitude of the authorities to our situation.”

Katrice Lee – Missing since 28th November 1981 – age at image disappearance 2

Natasha Lee, Katrice’s sister:

“My name is Natasha Lee, I am the sister of Katrice Lee, who went missing 26 years ago in Germany whilst my dad was serving in the British Army, No military or German police have ever wanted to help or be honest in what they didnt do. I am heart broken and devasted that I dont have my baby sister who I am so very proud of. All the Police would say was Katrice wandered off and drowned in the nearby river, she was 2! and petrified of water! But the police would not listen it took us 6 weeks to get it in the press! My sister was treated like she was a threat to national security!
I want justice for Katrice and all Missing People.”

Luke Durbin – Missing since 12th May 2006 – age at disappearance 19

Nicki Durbin, Luke’s mum:

image “On the 11th May 2006 my family sat in our kitchen laughing. My 19 year old son literally walked out of the house laughing, excited about meeting with up with his friends for a boys’ night out. That was the last time my daughter and I saw him! There are no words to describe the last 22 months. I have learnt to run parallel lives. My nightmare existence wondering whether Luke is alive or dead and the other life where I do the normal functions of living, going to work, paying the bills, cooking, cleaning and so on. Then night comes and the reality hits like a punch. I have had some very desperate moments where the despair was so absolute I did not know how I could continue. There is nowhere to turn! Families like mine learn some incredible coping mechanisms where you can be in the middle of a supermarket or in a business meeting, all you want to do is scream but you stay composed until the moment comes when you can let go and sometimes you just let go in the “wrong? places…?

In memory of those who are still missing.


  1. I’ll be there in thoughts and prayers –
    Founders of the Group “Forever Searching” will be there with their banners – supporting these families, who this group stand with every inch of the way.
    If any family needs help in raising awareness and in keeping the profile of the missing person high, please contact us to include the missing in our on-going awareness campaign.
    If you are in a position to influence – media – politician – please get behind this issue – these people need to be found one way or the other – they need to come home…

  2. I’m sure it will be a difficult day for all those who attend, either as spectator or one demanding some action. So many people with no resolution to their missing children, one way or another.

  3. This is absolutely heartbreaking emotionally, and I am outraged beyond belief from the standpoint of Justice denied. Again, Ellee, here in the USA we face this on a daily basis. The widely publicized case of missing Natalie Holloway in Aruba is an example of Idiots at the helm. One day before European divers were scheduled to diver for her remains (a secretly videotaped confession has been shown on USA TV with Vandersloot detailing how he killed the girl and dumped her body in the ocean)the search was called off. The public must demand an end to cavalier and callous attitudes among the police en masse to wake up our respective governments. I grieve for these loved ones who are living a nightmare. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Ellee!


  1. My letter to David Cameron - [...] Steven Cook, vanished on the first day of his holiday with friends in Crete in September [...]
  2. Damien Nettles, missing 14 years, and his heartbroken mother’s search continues « Ellee Seymour MCIPR - [...] of missing boy Luke Durbin, to help raise awareness for the issue of those who go missing including getting…
  3. Damien Nettles, missing 14 years, and his heartbroken mother’s search continues « Ellee Seymour MCIPR - [...] of missing boy Luke Durbin, to help raise awareness for the issue of those who go missing including getting…
  4. Ellee Seymour - MCIPR, PRESS CONSULTANT, JOURNALIST, POLITICAL AND PR BLOGGER. » Marching for the missing - [...] Government urged to listen to families of missing people [...]

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