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Kelsale: Event to say thanks

22:53 22 February 2013

Helen Armstrong- Bland holds an auction of promises fot Missing Abroad after her son Tom went missing while in Thailand. Pictured with Family and Friends at the Saxmundham Market Hall

Helen Armstrong- Bland holds an auction of promises fot Missing Abroad after her son Tom went missing while in Thailand. Pictured with Family and Friends at the Saxmundham Market Hall

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FUNDRAISING bidders vied for some enticing deals at an auction of promises organised by the family of a Suffolk traveller who went missing in Thailand for more than a month.

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The event was put together at the height of an international search for Tom Armstrong, from Kelsale near Saxmundham, but went ahead in more celebratory mood after he turned up safe and well in Bangkok at the beginning of the week.

Mr Armstrong had been missing since January 8 after failing to board a flight home – but on Monday, Suffolk Police confirmed he had been found and was reunited with his father Kingsley, who flew out to Thailand earlier this month to help Interpol and authorities search for his son. The 22-year-old’s mother, Helen Armstrong-Bland, wanted the auction to go ahead at Saxmundham Town Hall to raise money for Missing Abroad, which offers support to families of people missing in countries around the world.

Mrs Armstrong-Bland had told the East Anglian Daily Times she desperately hoped her son would be back before the event took place.

Mr Armstrong had been in Thailand since last April, when he began a diving course on the island of Koh Tao.

He contacted his family by email on January 6, telling them of his plans to fly home, but nothing was heard from him until earlier this week, except for news that money had been withdrawn from his bank account on January 16 from a machine in Bangkok.

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