THE family of a 22-year-old Suffolk man spoke of their anguish last night after he failed to return on a flight from Thailand, and has now been missing for almost a week.

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Tom Armstrong, from Kelsale, near Saxmundham, had been on a dive master course on the island of Koh Tao since last April, but was due to return over Christmas.

However, his mother said last night he had postponed the journey back after “running into trouble” in Bangkok, and was instead due to catch a flight home on January 8.

But Mr Armstrong never boarded the flight, and has not been heard from since, and yesterday police launched an appeal for anyone who could help trace his whereabouts.

His mother, Helen Armstong-Bland, said his family were desperate to hear from him. She added: “He was due to come home before Christmas but for whatever reason didn’t arrive.

“That sent alarm bells ringing, but we received an email from him saying he had run into some kind of trouble in Bangkok. We thought it may have taken some time to get back to the island, and that’s why he hadn’t been in contact.

“We spoke to somebody at the dive centre to see if he had returned there okay and they informed us by e-mail that he had booked a new flight to return on January 9 but we did not receive details of this so we waited to hear details from him when he landed back in the UK.

“We waited for the last train from London but he didn’t arrive. That’s when we spoke to the police.”

His mother said the family intended to travel to Thailand if there continued to be no contact from her son. She added: “We all really miss him and love him and want him to come home.”

Mr Armstrong has a younger sister, a younger brother, and an older brother currently living in Japan.

Yesterday, police said they were growing increasingly concerned over the whereabouts of Mr Armstrong, who had been in contact with his family until his intended departure via e-mail and Facebook.

Officers are appealing for any information that would indicate where he is, and that he is alive and well.

Mr Armstrong is described as about 6ft 2in, of medium build with fair, slightly wavy medium length hair, and sometimes has a short beard, which is more red than fair in colour.

If anyone has information that could help police with their investigations they are asked to contact the Suffolk Police on 101.

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