It may be many years since our much loved son, brother, uncle and friend, Steve went missing on the first night of his holiday in Malia, Crete but we truly believe in our hearts that Steven is out there somewhere and it's only ever a matter of time, effort and making as many people as possible aware of the situation, in order for us to bring him back home. To a home where he belongs. Amongst the people that love him, miss him and will never give up fighting, and caring for him.
So why do we still believe?
First of all, every single person that knows and loves Steve just has this feeling in our hearts that he's alive and we have to find him.
This feeling isn't something just to mitigate the loss; a therapy that busies us and stops us from grieving. In all honesty, having lost so many years of our lives without Steve, having so many moments that he should be sharing, and seeing the hurt that each one of us carries, the easiest thing would be to give him up as dead and focus on those lives we can share love, time, and joy with.
We know that Stevie had no reason to run away, and the police investigation confirmed this.
We know that no body has been found, nor has any physical evidence of Steve coming to any fatal harm.
We know that, contrary to reports and urban legends out in Malia, that he wasn't put in a large waste bin and taken to the dump where it would be impossible to ever search for him.
The immediate area around where he went missing was searched with reasonable detail. Initially by over 200 tourists covering all possible ground and fully briefed on what to look for, and then by local police forces searching drains, wells and the coastal areas.
Steve went missing on the verge of the hunting season and we were reliably told by the police and locals that hunters would easily find any body due to circling carrion / birds within even the most difficult to reach areas.
So what could have happened?
Firstly, Steve was on his first night of a foreign holiday without family. He hadn't acclimatised himself to the geography and locations of Malia nor where he was staying. He went out with no phone and approximately 40 Euros.
Malia, like every British town and major tourism destination for young people has an element of crime.
We've had several first hand accounts of druggings, muggings, and robberies. People who took a drink in a bar and the next thing they remember is waking up dehydrated a few miles from where they last remember being.