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The ‘gentle’ man who waved his mum off to work and has never been seen again

Police are still trying to locate a man who waved his mum off to work one morning nearly 29 years ago and hasn’t been seen since.

Steven Preston disappeared in September 1992, and an investigation was launched in a bid to find him.

His mother Isobel, and half-brother Michael Connolly, have since sadly passed away not knowing what happened to their “gentle, kind and funny lad”, reports Liverpool Echo.

As the anniversary of his disappearance approaches, Merseyside Police have confirmed the case is still ongoing and they welcome anyone with any information to come forward.

On the morning of September 18, 1992, Steven waved goodbye to his mum from their Wirral home as she left for work. His family reported him missing five days later.

Steven Preston

Since then the family have endured years of uncertainty over what happened to the former Brackenwood and New Chester Road secondary school student.

His sister Jane has continued to appeal for information about what happened to Steven..

In a touching tribute she said: “He was a gentle, kind and funny lad. He didn’t have a nasty bone in him. He was my friend. He adored my mum and it destroyed her when he disappeared.”

She said the family suspected something “awful” had happened to him due to the nature of his disappearance – he left home that day without a jacket or his prescribed medication.

The investigation into what happened to Steven was passed onto the Missing Persons Bureau, but is periodically reviewed by Merseyside Police.

Back in 2017 a tip off led the force to a network of fields behind a roadside Starbucks in Eastham.

Officers were treating the information, which suggested Steven was killed shortly after his disappearance and then buried in that area, as credible.

This is partly because there have been no verified sighting of him for years, nor has there been any activity – such as benefits withdrawals – traced to him.

Days later the search was stood down.

Merseyside Police have confirmed the investigation is ongoing and a spokesperson said: “An investigation into the disappearance of a 23 year-old Wirral man 29 years ago this month remains ongoing.

“Steven Preston, who lived in Heath Road, Bebington, with his mum, was reported missing on 23rd September 1992 but hasn’t been seen since.

“Extensive enquiries into Steven’s disappearance have been carried out and in 2017 a land search was carried out in the Eastham area of Wirral after new information was received by Merseyside Police which claimed that Steven may have been killed and buried.

“Nothing was located during the search.”

Detective Inspector Steve McGrath said: “We know that Steven was last seen by his mum Isobel on 18 September 1992. He left home for work at 8.45am that day but hasn’t been seen since.

“Sadly his mum and his half-brother Michael Connolly have since passed away without knowing what happened to Steven but we know there are still family and friends who want answers to what happened.

“Extensive enquiries and appeals have been carried out over the years and in 2017 an extensive search was carried out on land near the M53 following information received by Merseyside Police.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about Steven’s disappearance to contact us. It doesn’t matter that 29 years have passed. Any information they have could be vital and provide some comfort to his family.

“A young man in 20s doesn’t just leave home and vanish into thin air. Somebody, somewhere must know where he is, or what happened to him, and I would urge them to contact us as soon as possible.”

His sister Jane previously said: “He adored my mum and it destroyed her when he disappeared. She knew instantly that he wouldn’t have just left and never contacted her again and that something awful must have happened to him.

“After all this time has passed if anyone knows anything or heard anything at the time, no matter how insignificant, if they could come forward it could help us find some answers.”

Anyone with information about Steven’s disappearance is asked to contact Merseyside Police via Twitter @MerPolCC, or @missingpeople on 116 000.

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