The family of a Cookstown man who vanished without trace more than seven years ago, now believe he is dead.
Gerard Conway was reported missing to police on February 13, 2007 and, despite extensive enquiries they have been unable to find him.
This has been a particularly difficult week for the Conway family as Gerard’s 40th birthday was on Wednesday.
“We have to keep appealing,” said his mum Mary. “But I know it is for the recovery of his body.
“There is no way Gerard could be alive without the medication he needs.”
Mrs Conway, who lives in Dublin, said despite repeated appeals for help they have received no firm leads.
“Somebody must know where Gerard is and I would appeal to them to get in touch with us or the police.”
Mrs Conway said Gerard was last seen in Cookstown town centre. “He was withdrawing £10 from a bank.”
She said Gerard had some money in the Post Office which has not been touched.
The police were in contact with her about his disappearance a few months ago and reported no progress.
“He cannot live without medication or money,” she said, stressing that if he was still alive he would have been in touch with them.
Referring to his birthday, Mrs Conway said the fact that Gerard was not with them to celebrate it made it all the more poignant.
“Gerard is missing but he will never be forgotten,” she added.
Mr Conway’s case file was taken on by one of the PSNI’s Major Investigation Teams (MIT) six months after he was reported missing – and despite the expertise at the detectives’ disposal – the search, in what is a fairly small geographical area, has so far yielded few clues.
Even a £100,000 reward for information put up by the family a few years ago failed to produce any new leads in case.
What has puzzled police most is that there are no obvious reasons as to why Mr Conway would want to disappear.