THE devastated family of a much-loved dad who has been missing for almost six months say they are “living a nightmare”.
Julie and John Fletcher are beside themselves with worry as they struggle to sleep and make it through each day while wondering what has happened to their son.
Scott, who is dad to four-year-old Lucie, has not been seen or heard from since he vanished on May 11.
Police have been doing everything possible to trace the 27-year-old. But all lines of inquiry have gone cold.
A tearful Julie told the Mail: “We are obviously more concerned as time goes on that something really bad has happened to Scott, who is a smashing lad and a smashing son. He is very precious to us.
“Lucie is constantly asking for her dad. A fortnight ago she came to see us and said that she had spent all week crying for her daddy. It’s heartbreaking.
“His dad has aged about 20 years and it’s having an impact on all of our health.”
John is set to turn 65 in the coming days but the family say there will be no celebration, just as there were no fireworks over the weekend and Christmas has been put to one side. Scott also missed the 38th birthday of his sister, Louise Burns, on Saturday.
Scott’s ex-partner, Shelley Marshall, 27, who is mum to Lucie and still a good friend to Scott, is also said to be traumatised by what has happened.
The Owton Manor mum has been telling her daughter that Scott, who is also brother to Melanie Evans, 42, is away working. He has also missed big occasions such as the youngster’s first day at school.
Julie, who lives in Guillemot Close, in Hartlepool’s Bishop Cuthbert estate, said: “We don’t know if he’s had an accident or if something’s happened to him. It’s the not knowing that’s so hard.
“It’s got to the point where we just want to know anything, whether it’s good or bad, we just need to know.
“He’s a good father and won’t go anywhere without keeping in touch.
“It’s just not like him one bit. Nothing would keep him away from his family.”
Scott, who went to Fens Primary School and Manor College of Technology, had been busy up until the moment of his disappearance.
He had just got back from a holiday with friends in Thailand two weeks earlier and was half-way through moving out of his parents’ home to West Rainton. He was planning on fitting a gas fire on the day he went missing.
Julie last saw Scott, who had jobs including selling cars and running a nightclub and property maintenance company, on the morning as he got ready to take a bath.
John, a retired cable puller, then saw his son in the afternoon and said he seemed “slightly stressed” but didn’t think too much about it.
They have not heard anything from him since.
Julie, a community manager at St Hild’s C of E School, added: “Even when he went to Thailand he would ring twice a day. He even said when he got back he would not be away from Lucie for that long again.
“It doesn’t make any sense.
“Somebody must know something somewhere. No matter how small it is, it could make a difference.”
Durham police currently have a warrant out for his arrest because he failed to turn up to court in connection with an attack in a pub.
But the family say that is now an aside to finding Scott safe and well.
Julie added: “He’s an adult and will face the consequences if he has done anything wrong. But that is not important right now, we just need to find him.
“He might have made some mistakes and been around people he shouldn’t have, but he’s our son.”
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green, of Hartlepool Police, has been leading the search for Scott.
He said: “Concern for Scott’s welfare clearly rises as more time passes by and it has now been six months since he was last seen.
“The possibility that Scott has come to some harm cannot be ruled out.
“I believe there are people who know Scott who can help explain his whereabouts and I would appeal to anyone who may have information to contact us.
“I have seen the devastation caused to Scott’s family by his disappearance, the uncertainty that this has caused and the concern they have for his wellbeing.
“This inquiry will continue until we identify what happened to Scott after his disappearance and I am determined to establish the circumstances surrounding that.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call Det Chf Insp Green on (01642) 302110 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.