Find Steven Cook - Possible sightings
Update: 12th Jul 2013
New possible sighting in search for Steve
The Cook family have new hope in their search to bring Steve home following a possible sighting on the Greek island of Rhodes. Unlike previous sightings the witnesses were not aware of Steven's case prior to the sighting and felt moved to get in touch after seeing a picture of Steve at the airport.
Whilst dining out in Pefkos, a British family were approached by a person selling trinkets and novelty items. This person had issues communicating verbally - a similar scenario to a sighting in Stalis, Crete that the family followed up on last year - although in that instance the person was begging at restaurants.
The next day the witnesses left for the UK and whilst at the airport in Rhodes they saw a missing persons poster featuring Steve and they strongly felt that the trinket seller they'd seen the previous night physically matched Steve's description.
This scenario is consistent with information received following the Cook's appearance on Greek missing persons show The light at the end of the tunnel in 2005. The appeal generated calls about sightings of someone, obviously lost, that had problems communicating, matching Steve's description just days and weeks after his disappearance.
Whilst a recent search by the local police has failed to track this person down, we believe that the vigilence of tourists, locals and people will be essential to solving this ever widening, hurtful puzzle and get Steve back home where he belongs.
If you, or anyone that you know is going to Greece, please send them this information, and ask them to click here, print, and take this profile and guide with them in the hope that it will bring Steve home to his family.
Reports of possible sightings since 2005: We have been extremely fortunate to have the generous support of both the UK and Greek people and media throughout the years. Below are a few of the sightings that resulted from our appeals in England and Greece, as well as those that arose as a direct result of the family searching, and talking to locals in and around the areas that he went missing.
The following 'sightings' are those that either happened in the area and immediate time in which Steve went missing, cases in which the person that provided the information was certain that the person they saw was Steven, or scenarios that take into consideration the likelihood of Steve being in a given situation, and the improbability that it may be somebody else.
The first instances followed an appeal on Greek national primetime tv programme, The Light at the end of the tunnel, which aired live on Saturday nights and was focused purely towards helping reunite families with lost and missing loved ones. This appeal aired in early October 2005 - just a month after Steve went missing - and the following are translations of the actual calls and conversations that came directly into the show.
Light at the end of the tunnel:
Possible sighting 1 - on the day of the TV appeal:
Caller: I started at 9.30am with my car, I am a merchant at Agios. I was on my way to Heraklion.
Caller: Yes, at 9.45 I was in Malia. Outside of Malia there is a bus stop and a young man signalled me. I stopped and took him, he was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and sports shoes. I was talking to him in English but he was signalling with his hands. He was totally lost and confused and I deduced that he was English and I asked him "Where are you going?" and he gestured with his hands to go ahead. We reached Stalida (Stalis), it's about 5 kilometres, not even 5 kilometres from Malia to Stalis. He gestured his hands to stop saying "Here! Here!" and I pull to the right. I locked the car because I went to get cigarettes (at a kiosk). I got the cigarettes and observed him. He was going as though totally lost - he wasn't on drugs because I saw his hands -
Presenter: Did you notice any head injuries?
Caller: No, no injuries, or any injection marks or cuts on his hands
Presenter: Nothing of the sort, but he was a lost man?
Caller: Yes, I have seen how they (tourists) behave in Malia but he was just lost. Does he (Steven) have a mole on the face at the right?
Presenter: Yes (Chris, Steven's brother indicates where it was)
Caller: Yes, he had it where the gentleman (Chris) just showed.
Later from the show:
Presenter: A gentleman earlier talked about driving someone who looked like Steven to Stalida (Stalis) We have been contacted by a security company who tell us that they saw a person who looks like him walking by. They have informed their colleagues in Stalida (Stalis) to investigate.
Possible sighting 2:
Presenter: A lady from Stalis called but had a problem with her line connecting through.
We are going to stay with this lady's statement because it's quite important. A woman tells us that at the beginning of September at Hersonnisos, on the main road - she has a shop there - Malia is about 7km away - a young man went to her shop asking her where to go because he is lost - she's sure it's him (Steven) - and he had a head injury. It was 9.30, 3rd September, and he didn't know where to go. She sent him to the tourist police after he told her that he couldn't find his hotel.
Possible sighting 3:
Caller: Listen, it's the 3rd of September, Saturday night to Sunday morning, 7am and in my sleep I heard a sound on the top of my house. I was worried because my children stay on the second floor. As I was coming out I saw from the top floor of my house, by means of an external staircase a man coming down that looked extremely like him. I am not 100% sure but the resemblance is so big. I asked him where he lived and asked what he was doing at my house at this hour. He didn't know how to tell me anything, he wasn't telling me anything. The only thing he told me was "many, many". I asked him which was his hotel and his room number but he said nothing. He looked lost, maybe he was drunk - but not very much. He looked more lost. No, he didn't appear to have any injuries.
He was wearing a pink shirt, jeans and black socks. Because he wasn't wearing shoes one of his socks was very dirty from dried grass. The shirt was a little open and he was wearing a gold chain. (the presenter checks with Chris whether Steve owned a gold chain but Steven, to Chris's knowledge, didn't own a gold chain). The only thing he said was 'many, many room" and he couldn't find it.
BBC Missing live appeal 2010:
Possible sighting 4:
Following an appeal on BBC daytime show Missing Live we had a caller contact the show claiming that he'd seen Steven whilst out in Crete earlier that year. This time from the western side of the island in Platanios / Platanes, near Chania. In this case the witness was in a bar called the 'Guiness bar' and upon seeing someone matching Steve's description remarked to a friend 'that's that lad that's missing'. Unfortunately the person who looked like Steve wasn't approached, and later left.
The family tried to locate the bar on a visit later that year but unfortunately the name of bars are sometimes known by tourists through what they sell rather than their actual bar name so we were unable to locate this place with absolute certainty. We did, however, talk to business owners and distribute posters around the area, amongst and bars that sold Guiness. Nobody was able to recall a person matching Steve's description though.
BBC Northwest appeal 2012:
Possible sighting 5:
Following a news story, about Steve's 7th year of being missing, on BBC Northwest news in September 2012, a lady contacted the family. Earlier in the year she'd been holidaying in Stalis, the location of other potential sightings from 2005, and had seen a beggar regularly visiting local businesses opposite the apartments that she was staying in. Unaware of Steve's case at the time that she was staying there, she contacted us following the appeal as she thought it was strange, as this person didn't speak Greek, had some form of injury - saying that on recollection there's a possibility this person may have been Steve.
Possible sighting 6:
When going to Stalis to follow up the potential sighting detailed above, we then got another lead from an english expat worker that we became friends with whilst on our visit. In 2011 her son was on the way back from a party in Heraklion when he noticed a homeless person sleeping on a bench. This homeless man, seemingly in his late 20's, and in a dishevelled state of dress with a beard and long hair, was speaking in clear English in his sleep.
Upon contacting the consulate we were informed that they weren't aware of any UK citizens currently homeless on the island.
Following this up with local churches in the area, thinking that they may provide shelter to such homeless, we discovered that they were aware of a British person living rough, although they could not confirm whether it was the same one that this young man had seen.
Possible sighting 7:Whilst dining out in Pefkos, on the island of Rhodes a British family were approached by a person selling trinkets and novelty items. This person had issues communicating verbally - a similar scenario to a sighting in Stalis, Crete that the family followed up on last year - although in that instance the person was begging at restaurants. The next day the witnesses left for the UK and whilst at the airport in Rhodes they saw a missing persons poster featuring Steve and they strongly felt that the trinket seller they'd seen the previous night physically matched Steve's description.
Are you going to Greece, know anybody there that can help or do you think you may have seen Steve?
If you, or anyone that you know is going to Greece, particularly Crete or Rhodes, please send them this information, and ask them to click here, print, and take this profile and guide with them in the hope that it will bring Steve home to his family.
If you would like to help the search for Steve, find out what you else you can do to help us to bring him home by reading this page here. If you have any information that may add to our sightings or will help to direct our search, please get in touch with us, or the relevant authorities via our contact page here.