Family of Terry McSpadden send out appeal for information nine years after Wisbech father-of-two disappeared
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A father-of-two who has been missing for more than nine years is likely to be dead, a coroner's court heard yesterday.
Though 24-year-old Terry McSpadden's body was never found and his cause of death is unknown, there has been no evidence that he is alive since CCTV footage recorded him leaving a Tesco in Wisbech in the early hours of March 2, 2007.
'There is no proof of life since 1.10am on March 2. There's no evidence whatsoever of Terry being alive in the real world anywhere,' Anthony Deacon, a police officer on the investigation, said.
Despite the seeming finality of this decision, the police investigation into how Mr McSpadden died will remain open.
His family is urging anyone with any relevant information to come forward.
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His mother, Helen Thrower, said: 'It's an open verdict, the police are not going to drop the case, they will still continue.
'If any new evidence comes in, if anybody knows anything about what happened to Terry or where his body could possible be, please, please tell somebody.'
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In a two-day inquest, family members heard the details of the days and weeks before Mr McSpadden's disappearance.
On February 17, just days before the morning he failed to show up to work and was pronounced a missing person, he told those close to him about a strange incident, the inquest heard.
Mr McSpadden had been staying with friend Jonathan Porter after a row with his long-term girlfriend, Rebecca Burton, with whom he had two children.
He had been relaxing on Mr Porter's sofa that night when he felt that he was drugged in some way, either via an injection or by someone putting chloroform over his face.
He woke up some time later to realise he was completely encased in 'industrial-style cling film'.
Mr McSpadden's housemate Mr Porter eventually returned to the home and cut him free. The incident had badly shaken him.
Ian Ayres, a friend and colleague of Mr McSpadden's, told the inquest via a statement: 'He said he thought anyone who had done it would murder him... in his mind he had no enemies to think of.'
Mr Porter was the last to see Mr McSpadden alive before he went missing on March 2.
He was charged with murder in 2012 but a crown court judge dismissed the case in 2013, citing insufficient evidence.
'It's like living in a nightmare'
Mother Helen Thrower said: 'It's like living in a nightmare. You get up, it's the first thing on your mind, it's the last when you go to bed.
'This time of year it shouldn't be me [his children] are asking for what they want for Christmas, it should be their daddy and their mum. It's just horrendous.'
Stepsister Nikki Wright Heard said: 'It's time we had answers, his children need answers. There needs to be some form of closure.
'We need people to come forward and tell us new information; even though it's a cold case it will never stop being investigated.
'People fall in and out of friends, people have their own children, people grow consciences at some point in their life and they need to do the right thing. That's all we ask.'
Timeline of events
• February 17, 2007: Mr McSpadden tells friends and family he was relaxing on the sofa when he was possibly drugged, woke up and found himself wrapped in 'industrial-style cling film'. He feels he is suffocating and his housemate, Jonathan Porter, arrives to the scene and cuts him free.
• March 2, 2007: Mr McSpadden does not show up for work, causing concern. Shortly after he is declared a missing person
• December 1, 2012: Mr Porter appeared before Norwich magistrates charged with the murder of Mr McSpadden.
• March 2013: The case against Mr Porter is dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
• 2014: Crimestoppers offers a reward of £5,000 for information about the disappearance.
• November 7, 2016: A two-day inquest is opened to fully examine the details of Mr McSpadden's case and determine whether or not he is still alive.
• November 8, 2016: Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake rules that the probability is that Mr McSpadden is dead but the cause and place of death is unknown.