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To mark the eighth birthday of Madeliene McCann yesterday, parents Gerry and Kate appealed to Prime Minister David Cameron to seek greater access to the Portugese police files on the case. Few parents could even imagine the horror of their situation, but for mothers like Elizabeth Templeton, it's like this every day.
“Alan is in my thoughts all of the time,” she said of her son, who was 25 when he disappeared from his home in Edinburgh in November 2006. No leads to his whereabouts have been found since.
Now news of the McCann’s appeal has strengthened her determination to find her missing son.
Speaking to The Hour, she said: “It highlights the questions like what do families do when someone goes missing? What happens when the leads run out?”
A keen sportsman with an outgoing personality, no-one could have expected Alan to disappear from his home in 2006. Although he had returned from France after a period of depression, his family and friends had rallied around him to ensure he never felt alone.
Elizabeth added: “He was a very funny, outgoing person, capable on a lot of fronts. Alan enjoyed sport and got a degree. Everybody who knows him sees him as a positive outgoing person. If you’d asked me six years ago I’d say it’s not possible he could go missing.”
On the weekend he went missing Alan was due to attend a doctor’s appointment for his depression. When he didn’t turn up the clinic got in touch and Alan’s parents became worried:
“He was due to see a Doctor, and he didn’t turn up for an appointment. We tried to phone to check he was okay because he was always a bit forgetful.
“When his flatmate said he hadn’t seen him for a week, we got worried. But he was a grown man, it’s not like you would go searching for a child.”
It’s now five years since Alan has been seen and despite several reported sightings in and around Edinburgh nobody has heard from him since.
His mother is slowly coming to terms with his disappearance but is still haunted by the fear that something may have happened. Yesterday she made another plea to her son to get in touch with someone:
“Alan, you don’t need to come home, you don’t need to be in touch, but please tell someone you are alive.”
One such outlet for this is run by Missing People UK, who allow a person to send an anonymous message to the charity. They will then get in touch with family members without their ever needing to be direct contact.
Visit the web for more information on the search for Alan Templeton and the Missing People helpline.