Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:38 UK

New help for families of missing

Steven Cook
Steven Cook was on holiday with friends when he disappeared

The father of missing Liverpool student Steven Cook is helping to launch a new group aiming to help the families of those who go missing overseas.

Norman Cook, 64, of Sandbach, Cheshire, has become a trustee of the Missing Abroad Fund, almost three years since his son disappeared in Malia, Crete.

Steven Cook was 20 when he went missing on the first night of his holiday with friends in the Greek resort.

The Cook family are continuing to publicise the search for him.

There have been a few possible sightings of Mr Cook, who was a student at Liverpool John Moore's University, since he disappeared.

But Greek police have failed to find any concrete leads in their investigation into why he went missing.

The Missing Abroad group will help other families who go through the trauma of losing a loved one overseas.

Norman Cook
It is a terrible, terrible situation to be in - it consumes your whole life
Norman cook

Steven Cook, an avid Liverpool FC fan, was reported missing by his friends on 1 September 2005.

His father, a retired engineering executive, has not celebrated any of his birthdays since his youngest son went missing.

"It is a terrible, terrible situation to be in - it consumes your whole life," he said.

As well as several visits to Crete to look for him, the Cook family have used the internet, including social networking sites such as Facebook, to further the search for information.

"You find that very quickly your house becomes a planning room - we had maps of Crete and Greece all over our dining room," Mr Cook said.

"You look at what the place is about, what the culture of the people is, what could have happened.

"That becomes the main focus of what you have to do. But all that comes at an emotional cost and a financial cost.

"That's what the Missing Abroad Fund is about. It's giving that support - both the knowledge that we have gained and financial assistance."


SEE ALSO
New appeal over missing student
01 May 08 |  Merseyside
Missing student police in visit
29 Nov 05 |  Merseyside
Missing man's family in TV appeal
06 Oct 05 |  Merseyside
Anfield plea for missing student
18 Sep 05 |  Merseyside
Leaflet appeal on missing student
15 Sep 05 |  Merseyside
Student goes missing on holiday
06 Sep 05 |  Merseyside

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