POLICE say that missing dad Scott Fletcher may have come to some harm after he missed another Christmas with his family.
The 28-year-old vanished 19 months ago and was absent for his second Yuletide in a row.
His family, including five-year-old daughter Lucie, are said to be “in complete turmoil” as they continue to try and come to terms with his disappearance.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green, of Hartlepool Police, has led the investigation since Scott went missing on May 11, 2011.
His officers have explored numerous lines of inquiry, carried out dozens of searches and interviews and made appeal after appeal, but all have so far drawn a blank.
Det Chf Insp Green is now warning that there is a possibility that Scott has somehow come to harm, but he hopes there is someone out there who can finally give Scott’s family the definitive answers they need.
He said: “As time passes, we are increasingly concerned about where Scott may be and we cannot rule out the possibility of him having come to some harm.
“I am certain that people locally can help to unlock the answers in relation to Scott’s whereabouts and I would appeal to them to contact us, in confidence if necessary, and help end the suffering his family are going through.”
Scott, who lived in the Throston area of Hartlepool, was last seen at 8.20pm on May 11, 2011, in the lay-by opposite the Jet garage on the A181 at Wheatley Hill in Durham.
The search for Scott has extended to the Durham, Cumbria and Liverpool areas, as it is believed he has connections there.
His family are said to be too upset to speak to the Mail as they try to get through the Christmas period without their loved-one, but are hoping that someone comes forward with information after seeing the police appeal.
Lucie had appeared in the Hartlepool Mail three months ago with the simple message: “Daddy, please come home, I miss you.”
Scott had just missed her first day at Fens Primary School.
Lucie revealed she kisses a picture of her dad every night, and added: “I tell my friends he is working away, in case they cry. But I know he is lost.”
Lucie’s mum Shelley Marshall, 27, from the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, said she used to tell her daughter that her dad was working away, but had to admit the truth when other youngsters told Lucie her dad was missing.
Shelly, who is also mum to seven-year-old Bradley Marshall from a previous relationship, who Scott brought up as his own, appealed for “answers” to give her daughter.
His mum, Julie, from the Bishop Cuthbert area of town, vowed that the family will never give up hope of finding Scott.
Det Chf Insp Green added: “This is the second Christmas that the family have had to go through without Scott, and as days like that arrive, it gets even harder for them to come to terms with his absence.
“His family are in complete turmoil.
“What’s worse for them is that they don’t know where he is or what has happened to him, they just want him home.”
Anyone with information regarding Scott’s whereabouts is asked to contact Det Chf Insp Green on the non-emergency number 101.