from home - Steven Cook|
Photo - Press Association
you have information about Steven Cook, please call the police hotline - 01244
Inside Out investigates the mysterious and harrowing story of
the Cheshire student who went missing in Crete.
Norman and Pat Cook are
keeping everything in place for when their son Steven comes home to Sandbach.
been missing since the end of August 2005 when he went on holiday to Crete with
Steven is the Cook's youngest son - the baby of the family
and a student at Liverpool University.
"He's a very sensible, home-loving
kind of guy, he's very much into things around the home. He's fanatical about
Liverpool FC," say his family.
"He's the sort of guy you're proud
to have as a son - he does normal things for a single lad. At Liverpool Uni he
has a circle of friends there and he has a circle of friends back home for weekends
There's been no word of Steven's whereabouts for more
than four months.
Day by day
For Steven's family it's been
a traumatic time:
"It's a living nightmare. If you were
to imagine the worst scenario for your children to get into it would be what's
happened to Steven and our family."
The family say that
they they get through every day by supporting each other.
"If Pat goes
up to town, I go with her," says Norman.
"If I go out, she comes
with me. I wouldn't go off and leave her on her own - I'd hate Pat to be here
on her own if that phone call came through and it was bad news I wouldn't want
that so that's how we do it."
The Cook's are a very close family and
Christmas 2005 was particularly hard:
"We just went through
the motions really - it's hard to cope we've got through it your emotions normally
are raw and difficult to control, and at Christmas they come to the surface. It
just takes a little thing to trigger it off and you're out of control."
Stephen was last seen with 11 of his mates in the resort
of Malia in Crete.
The group of friends had been looking forward to
relaxing after a long year at University but Steven had barely unpacked his suitcase
when disaster struck on their first night away.
hell and back - Steven's parents Pat and Norman Cook|
night we were on a bar crawl, and as the night wore on me and Steve decided to
go back to the hotel.
"And on the way we stopped off at a bar and
it was in this bar that I lost him - and that was the last I ever saw of him,"
says Andy Jackson, one of Steve's close friends.
As soon Steve's mates
realised that he wasn't there, they went to the medical centres, hospitals and
the police every day.
They gave out fliers and even went up into the hills
asking whether anybody had seen Steven.
As soon as the alarm was raised,
the Cooks filed a missing person report and made arrangements for his two elder
brothers to fly to Crete to help his friends in the search.
TV appeals on the Greek equivalent of Crimewatch, they were no nearer to finding
"The lowest point was at the airport everyone was
expecting to be going home together - it was hard leaving his brothers and the
flight home was horrible just the empty seat where Steve should have been and
it was hard to deal with." Friend Daniel Stitt.
In November 2005, Norman and Pat flew to Crete with their nephew
to make their own search of the island.
They'd had a tip off from a psychic
saying Steve was alive and near a disused mine, so they scoured the inland areas.
offs proved fruitless and Steven is still missing|
came down the mountain and I was shouting Steven, Steven, Steven but there was
nothing and it was at that point when we got back to the car that we decided we
couldn't go through that again", says his family.
While the search
for Steven is being headed by Greek Police, detectives in Cheshire were making
their own enquiries.
They needed to be sure that there was nothing in
his background which would make him either want to disappear or make him take
his own life:
"We're happy to report that despite some
intrusive investigations, we've found no reason why Steve would want to go missing,
we've found nothing that would make him want to take his own life, that's the
sort of thing we took to the Greek police to try and convince them that this was
something that happened in Greece that needs to be properly investigated."
So what could have happened
to Steven Cook?
"I believe it's unlikely that Steven is still alive
but I cannot rule that out. And while I cannot rule that out, we have to continue
to do what we can to try and investigate every scenario," says Police spokesperson,
Detective Supt John Armstrong.
"It is likely Steven's been the victim
of crime. It is more likely Steve's been the victim of a tragic misadventure which
has led to his body not being recovered to date.
"But he could still
be alive and we are still working in the local area to try and find Steven."
Steven's parents say that they can't give up hope:
believe he's out there and he's alive. I have days when I'm down," says Steven's
"We don't have good days but we have bad days. There's something
tells me he's out there somewhere - it's not just me - all the family, his friends,
it doesn't make sense to us it doesn't make sense to the police, it's just one
of those things you wished you'd never had to come up against because it's an
"Someone somewhere knows something".
year around 50 Britons are murdered abroad - the Cook's are praying that Steven
won't become another statistic.
Please help - if you have any information
about the whereabouts of Steven Cook, please contact the police hotline - 01244
613511 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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