A LITTLE girl is facing a heartbreaking Valentine’s Day as she turns five without her missing dad by her side.
Lucie Fletcher is set to celebrate her fifth birthday on February 14, nine months after her dad Scott Fletcher vanished.
The 27-year-old from Hartlepool was last seen on May 11 at around 8.20pm in the lay-by opposite the Jet garage on the A181 at Wheatley Hill.
Scott’s ex-partner and mother of Lucie, Shelley Marshall, 27, is desperate for answers as she gets set to explain to her daughter why her dad will not be around on Tuesday.
The Owton Manor mum said: “Every day is difficult when we do not know where Scott is.
“Lucie is distraught and misses her dad very much.
“She asks for him all the time and will no doubt be upset on her birthday as she wants to see him.
“We know that Scott would want to be with his daughter on her birthday and we really need some answers as to where he is.”
Scott’s parents, Julie and John Fletcher, 65, have been left confused as to why Scott would not get in touch with his much-loved child.
Police have carried out an extensive search for Scott that has extended to the Durham, Cumbria and Liverpool areas, where he is believed to have had connections.
But despite their efforts, what has happened to Scott remains a mystery.
Julie, of Guillemot Close, in Hartlepool’s Bishop Cuthbert estate, said: “Scott is a hands-on father and Lucie still asks for her daddy.
“It is out of character for Scott to miss so many milestones such as Christmas and his father’s and sisters’ birthdays.”
The community manager at St Hild’s C of E School, in Hartlepool, added: “We desperately hope that Scott gets in touch for Lucie’s birthday.”
Police are urging anyone with information that could help find Scott to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Scott’s family have suffered immensely since he went missing and it is especially heartbreaking as his daughter Lucie is only a young girl and she cannot understand why her dad did not visit her at Christmas or why he will not visit on her birthday.
“As Scott’s whereabouts remain unclear, his family continue to suffer and as more time passes we become increasingly concerned.
“I am certain that people locally can help us get the answers that Scott’s family so desperately need, and if necessary, those with information can contact police in confidence.”
Scott, who went to Fens Primary School and Manor College of Technology, had just got back from a holiday with friends in Thailand two weeks before he disappeared and was half-way through moving out of his parents’ home to West Rainton.
They have not heard anything from Scott, who is brother to Louise Burns, 38, and Melanie Evans, 42, since.
Anyone with information regarding Scott’s whereabouts is asked to contact Det Chf Insp Green, of Hartlepool Police, on (01642) 302110.