Missing teen: Mother's anguish three years on

THE mother of a Suffolk teenager who went missing three years ago this week has renewed an appeal for help in finding her son.

Tom Potter

THE mother of a Suffolk teenager who went missing three years ago this week has renewed an appeal for help in finding her son.

On the anniversary of his sudden disappearance after a night out with friends in 2006, Nicki Durbin is still desperate to know what happened to her son, Luke.

Hollesley teenager Luke was last seen at around 4am on May 12, 2006, when he was spotted on CCTV crossing the road from St Stephens Lane to the Old Cattle Market.

Since then there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings, including one on CCTV in Poole, Dorset, on April 1 this year, but he has still not returned home.

“Three years is a long time and people's loyalties can change so dramatically,” said Ms Durbin.

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“If anyone has mixed feelings of loyalty I would beg them to come forward. I have got to find him, or find out what happened to him.”

Thanks to Ms Durbin's tireless campaigning and free help from advertisers, Luke's image has become a familiar sight on posters up and down the country.

“There is no way I could maintain that sort of publicity on my own,” she said. “Young people have also been amazingly supportive through websites like Facebook.

“It has had a massive impact on his friends but the critical thing for them now is to get on with their own lives.”

Ms Durbin recalled the last time she saw her son on the evening before he went missing. She said: “It's the most overplayed memory in my life and it started off the nightmare we have encountered.

“In hindsight, if I could turn back time Luke would never have gone out that night. But I have to remember that he was 19, not a ten-year-old, and there was nothing untoward in his character.”

Last March Ms Durbin joined Valerie Nettles, whose son Damien went missing in 1996, in organising a peaceful protest march for families of the missing. The march marked the launch of a campaign to secure funding for support, counselling and advice for the families that get left behind.

“There is a growing network of families that is self-facilitated,” she commented. “I just wish I had been given the details of another family in our situation during the first week of Luke's disappearance. There needs to be somewhere for people to go to when it happens.”

Another “March for the Missing” is planned for Sunday May 24 in Leicester which Ms Durbin said she will be attending.

Have you seen Luke Durbin?

Anyone with information about Luke's whereabouts should call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

For more information about Luke's disappearance, visit www.findluke.com or the Find Luke Durbin page on Facebook.

Last May, on the two-year anniversary of her son's disappearance, Nicki Durbin renewed her appeal to locate the driver captured on CCTV in Ipswich the night Luke disappeared.

Suffolk Police have agreed to enhance the CCTV image of the car in the hope of identifying the driver.

Ms Durbin said: “This is the most positive lead we have had in the last two years.

“It was the only car seen in the town centre shortly before Luke disappeared.

“The driver may not have anything to do with Luke's disappearance but once the number plate is checked out, they can be ruled out.”