Appeal to help find man who was last seen in Norwich

Jenny Haynes has not seen her only child for over 10 years.

She knows her son Stephen, 37, was last seen in Norwich but can find no trace of him.

'It is difficult to describe the grief and anguish I feel, especially at Christmas, not knowing the whereabouts of my only child,' she said.

'I love him unconditionally and always will.

'It would mean such a lot to have even a card to let me know that he is ok.


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'If someone dies you have closure and can try and move on, but with this it is the not knowing.

'The grief is always there in the background. I pray for him every day. I have hope he will get in touch just to let me know he is alive.'

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Mrs Haynes and her husband have travelled from their home in Plymouth to Norwich to look for her son and his father has travelled from Bedfordshire several times to do the same.

'It was so harrowing,' she said. 'I didn't realise how harrowing it would be waiting for every tall man and waiting for people to turn around to see if I would recognise him.'

The Salvation Army's Family Tracing Service can find no sign of him and Missing People believe that he may have gone abroad.

In Norwich the Salvation Army runs a missing person's helpline and Major Graham Kinsley, director of the Salvation Army's Family Tracing Service, said they receive a surge of calls in the run up to Christmas.

By tracing birth certificates and address books they are able to help many people, reuniting them with their loved ones.

One person they have helped is Therasia Reed, 32, from Attleborough, who did not know her mother's name until she reached her teens and began trying to find her.

When she was three her parents split up and Therasia's mother, Susan, 55, lost custody of her and her older brother.

With the help of the Salvation Army they were reunited 30 years later last summer.

'It was like a dream come true,' said Therasia. 'My heart was in my mouth. It was the most nervous day of my life.

'I found out I had grandparents alive and this huge family and so many cousins.'

And Martin Chase, who lives in Sheringham, lost contact with his sister Vivian, 60, for more than 20 years when they were both in their forties.

The death of their father, their only remaining parent, motivated Vivian to start searching for her brother, initially anxious that he too might be dead. Vivian felt more isolated even though she had her own family and kept in touch with her brother's children.

When she had no success, she turned to The Salvation Army who tracked down Martin, 58, within four weeks.

Since then Martin, Vivian and her husband have enjoyed spending time together with the added bonus that Vivian has helped reconcile her brother with his estranged daughter and Martin is looking forward to meeting his grandson. Having survived a heart attack three years ago, Martin is keen to make the most of life and put past disagreements behind him.

To find out more about the tracing service visit www1.salvationarmy.org.uk/familytracing

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