The family of a Fleetwood man who went missing 12 years ago this month have issued a fresh plea for information about his whereabouts.
Kevin Ainley disappeared without trace in June 2004 while working and living on the Spanish island of Tenerife.
His family believe someone must know what happened to him and hope an appeal on the anniversary of his last sighting could uncover fresh information. “We’re desperate for answers,” said his sister, Gemma Brooke.
“Every June we realise that another year has passed yet we’re no closer to knowing where Kevin is. It is heartbreaking.
“It is no exaggeration to say we have been put through 12 years of hell, hoping every single day that we’ll hear from him or find out what happened.
“Somebody must know something.”
Kevin, aged 24 when he went missing, had previously lived in both Fleetwood and Wakefield, but had moved to the tourist area of Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, in March 2004.
He had made friends in the area, enjoyed an active social life and had taken up employment handing out leaflets for a bar, The Sportsman, in an area known as ‘The Patch’.
On the morning of his disappearance – thought to be around June 14th – he had been out with a friend who was holidaying in the area, and the pair had visited local bars and clubs.
Later that day, at around midday, Kevin and another friend went for a meal at a Chinese buffet restaurant called Merlin’s, also on The Patch.
He was last seen by this friend walking in the direction of The Sportsman.
At this time he was wearing a blue Ellesse tracksuit.
The following Monday Kevin failed to turn up for work and his passport and personal belongings were found at his apartment.
Worried friends contacted the authorities as well as Kevin’s family in Fleetwood. Around a week after he had last been seen his mother attended Fleetwood Police Station, where she reported him missing.
An investigation was launched in Spain, while officers in Fleetwood assisted by following up several lines of enquiry in the UK. However, these were exhausted without any answers.
In 2005 two officers from Lancashire travelled to Tenerife to offer assistance to local police, but were unable to identify what had happened to Kevin.
A Lancashire Constabulary review of the case in 2012 also failed to establish Kevin’s whereabouts or what had happened to him.
Now Kevin’s family are hoping a push for information could jog somebody’s memory, or nudge someone into doing the right thing by coming forward with what they know.
“We are convinced there must be someone out there who saw or heard something,” continued Gemma.
“However insignificant it seems, it could be the missing piece in the puzzle.
“Kevin was my brother and I miss him every single day. I just hope that if someone does know something they can find it in their hearts to come forward and help put us out of our misery.”
DI Paul Burnside, of Lancashire Police, said: “Kevin’s family have had 12 years of missed birthdays and missed Christmases and they just want to know what happened to him.
“They want some closure and they believe somebody out there holds the key to solving this case.
“Although we have no jurisdiction to investigate his disappearance in Spain, we continue to liaise with the Spanish police through Interpol and the British Embassy and will pass on any information we receive that could open up lines of enquiry.
“Anybody who thinks they know something is urged to get in contact with us, and we will pass on the information to our colleagues in Spain.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference LC-20160627-0357.
Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.