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Call for missing people's DNA log
Steven Clark
Steven's parents still believe they will find out what happened to their son

The father of a missing Teesside man wants the government to compile a DNA database of missing people.

Charles Clark's son, Steven, disappeared while out with his family on Saltburn seafront in 1992.

The charity "Missing People" has called for families left behind to receive the same treatment as victims of crime.

There were 330,000 missing persons cases in the UK last year. The charity believes more emotional, legal and financial support is needed.

The heartache that my wife particularly had for the first two or three years, where she didn't know if she was coming or going really, was a horrible, horrible experience.
Charles Clark

Eighteen years on, though, Charles and his wife, Doris, still don't know what happened the day their son vanished without a trace.

"He just literally disappeared, you know." Said Doris, "We went for a walk together. He decided to nip into the gents, I popped into the ladies and when I came out and waited for quite a while to see if he was there, or if he was coming out, nothing happened. He didn't appear and we haven't seen him since."

For all the years that have passed since that day, though, she still believes they will, one day, find some answers.

Saltburn seafront
Steven Clark went missing from Saltburn seafront in 1992

"There are times when I think, 'It's never going to happen,' but it's got to. Surely, something has got to turn up. Somebody out there knows something."

The charity Missing People thinks more should be done to support families like the Clarks, but Charles has no complaints about the support he and his wife have received.

"Early on, the missing persons helpline was brilliant. The police were good after the first couple of days. Your local radio station (BBC Tees) has been very good. You never forget, every year, and the church and various other people and places have been good, excellent.

"But what can we really expect people to do? The police, really, have their own job to do and the person that's missing hasn't done anything wrong. There's no crime, there's no reason for them to be involved."

I think it's quite cruel in a way for the missing person, who's an adult, to just disappear without any contact with their family. You just feel as though you've just got to get on with it and that's it.
Doris Clark

Charles believes that a DNA database, similar to that used to record the genetic fingerprints of criminals, could help provide the answers families like his are so desperately looking for.

"I think that missing people should be, in today's world, part of DNA testing.

"If the police or whoever have the facility to take the DNA of the missing person, I think it might solve a lot of those people that are missing through the various bodies that are found all over the place.

"A lot of people have gone missing through unhappiness at home and things like that and I think DNA in today's world is long overdue."

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