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Christmas 2020 means families have to make the difficult choice of who they spend their time with. For Hartlepool-mum Julie Fletcher, that choice was taken away from her when her son Scott went missing in May 2011.
Facing the 10th Christmas Day without him, Julie says that the unanswered questions and what-ifs continue to impact on her life.
Mum Julie said: “Christmas should be a special time for families, but for me, there is always a gaping hole that has been left by Scott’s disappearance. I want him to be here, to be with us, but I have to accept the reality, that ten years on, he’s not going to walk through the door.
“I keep thinking that someone will come forward and tell me where he is so that I can bring him home. That would mean so much to me. I don’t need to know who has caused him harm, I need to know where he is.”
Cleveland Police launched a murder investigation and have made several appeals for people to come forward with information on the case.
Scott was 27 when he went missing on May 11 and was last believed to have been seen near the Jet garage on the A181 at Wheatley Hill.
Detectives arrested seven men on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but they were later released. Officers believe that Scott was killed in the Durham area and his body was concealed shortly afterwards.
Crimestoppers recently issued a £10,000 reward for information given to them that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Scott’s murder.
Detective Inspector Jim Allen said: “I want people to think about Julie this Christmas and the pain she goes through each year not knowing what happened to Scott.
“There are people who have information and for whatever reason might be fearful of coming forward. Crimestoppers is completely independent of the police. Anyone giving information is anonymous and remains anonymous and we don’t find out who they are. Now is the time to come forward to end Julie’s ongoing suffering.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.