As the mother of a missing child, I think about this issue every day, without fail, and I think of Damien. I see and hear stories in the media about families like mine with a missing loved one. We all handle things differently, but also the same. Especially the emotions and the sadness and the ambiguous loss. I can never pretend that I understand fully what they are going through as we are all different and our missing loved ones went missing in different circumstances.
What I know is that I had my son, Damien, in my life boy and man. I nurtured that boy from a baby to a 6' 4" strapping teenager. I liked very much the human being he turned out to be. Loving, caring, intelligent and funny. His life before him, full of promise. He never got to reach the potential that he could see for himself.
What I know is that after 16 years, he was part of the fabric of our lives. He was a brother, cousin, nephew, grandson and friend to many - he was dearly loved by all.
What I know is that we spent time with him so losing him was so very hard, impossible to comprehend. The hole in our lives is just massive. How do you take 16 years of love and caring and suddenly it is gone in the blink of an eye? And, we don't know why. We know nothing and we imagine everything. It is torture.
We have tried the traditional routes appealing to people
in power and we have not achieved anything. I lack the resources to get
the attention of politicians. We tried the Home Office and the advice
we received from that department was only what we had already done.
Brick wall. Just what does one have to do? Because Damien was dual
nationality, we even approached the American Embassy, but they did not
want to know. We have struggled from day one to get his story out, past the south coast of England where he went missing. The police were unhelpful from day one. There was a lackluster ambivalent distinct disdain shown to my family in the early days.The investigation has taken massive twists and turns and after lacking any direction for 14 years it was suddenly turned into a murder investigation.
We have appealed to police to get the movements of Damien reconstructed on the national crime program, but that has failed/refused.
We pushed for a reward for many many years and after 16 years they finally put up a reward that lasted 6 months. Dont get me wrong, we were grateful. It is a shame it wasnt offered earlier when it mght have done some good and when we originally pleaded for a reward.
My son actually went missing in ENGLAND but he cannot get the same level of publicity shown to select cases that happened outside the borders of the UK.
Something is very wrong with this picture. But that is just my opinion. I would far prefer to see all our missing focused upon with intensity and with financial support.