world : 'My brother went missing like Jay Slater'

world : 'My brother went missing like Jay Slater'
world : 'My brother went missing like Jay Slater'

Monday 1 July 2024 10:31 PM

Nafeza 2 world - The brother of a man who disappeared in Crete in 2005 have urged missing Jay Slater's family to "stick together" and "ignore the noise".

Relatives of Steven Cook, 20, waited 12 years for answers until his body was eventually found at the bottom of a well in Malia on the Greek island.

His older brother Chris Cook, now 49, said Mr Slater's disappearance in Tenerife on 17 June had brought back tough memories.

He said the 19-year-old's family "will have days where they reach rock bottom" and said it was vital for them to help each other through.

Mr Cook, from near Northwich in Cheshire, told the BBC coverage of Mr Slater's case brought back "painful and emotional memories".

However, he said: "At least we have a conclusion to Steve's story. He's back, he's buried with my dad now and it's a bit of peace.

"At least we know we have got him home.

"It could have been different and I dread to think what they're going through having been through it ourselves."

Steven Cook was last seen asking for directions after becoming separated from his friends during a bar crawl on the first night of his holiday.

Like Mr Slater, he was also on his first trip abroad without his parents.

His remains were found in a well by Greek workmen in February 2017 alongside a disposable camera and a belt.

An inquest reached an open conclusion due to lack of evidence as to how Steven died.

Mr Cook said the turmoil of a missing loved one was compounded by the fact that it happened in a foreign country, with unfamiliar police procedures and language barriers.

While Steven's disappearance happened before the era of widespread social media really took hold, Mr Cook said he still found himself reading distressing and unpleasant rumours and theories online.

In Mr Slater's case, hundreds of thousands of people have joined Facebook groups to discuss the case and his family and friends have been targeted by trolls and conspiracy theorists.

"The unsubstantiated stuff, the noise in the background, does take your focus away from what you want to be doing", Mr Cook said.

"It weighs you down. Emotionally you reach the bottom of despair. But you have to think, 'right, it's with the police, I will do what I can do'."

Asked for any advice he would pass on to Mr Slater's family, he added: "Stick together. Always stick together.

"There will always be days when one of you will hit rock bottom. You need to be there to pick each other up."

On Sunday, police in Tenerife announced the official search for Mr Slater, around the rural village of Masca in the north of the island, had ended.

Mr Slater's family, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, vowed to stay and continue the search and are seeking volunteers to help.

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