The mother of a man missing from Whaley Bridge has issued a heartfelt plea for her son to come home as she prepares to mark his fourth birthday without him.
Steven O’Riordan was last seen at 5.30pm on May 30, 2011, when his mum Helen dropped him off at his Old Road home after they had spent the day together.
He was reported missing a few days later, and unusually, there have been no sightings of Steven since leaving his family still desperately searching for answers as to what has happened to him.
Steven was aged 28 at the time of his disappearance, but tomorrow (Friday) is his birthday, a very difficult time for mum Helen.
“I find his birthday a lot harder than Christmas,” she said. “Christmas is all about the children but his birthday is just about him. He didn’t have much money but he loved being spoilt on his birthday. People used to say I spoiled him but I’m really glad I did now.”
As usual, Helen will be marking Steven’s birthday along with his sister Sinead. But all she really wants is for Steven to be there to celebrate with them.
Asked what she would like to say to Steven, Helen said: “Come home. We are a much bigger family now and we want to share that family with you. You would love it.
“You’ve got a four-year-old nephew and another one due to be born any day now, maybe even on your birthday.”
Steven was very close to his family, and had spent the day of May 30, 2011 with them, as he regularly did.
He would often walk from his home along the canal to mum Helen’s house in Marple.
So when he didn’t turn up that weekend as usual, she started to worry.
“He loved his routine,” Helen said. “That is why when he didn’t turn up on the Saturday, I knew something was wrong.
“He was like clockwork. He loved his family and loved coming round at the weekends. He didn’t really have a network of close friends he would have chosen to spend the weekend with, which is why he came to see us, so I knew there was something wrong.”
Steven, who was aged 28 at the time of his disappearance, loved the Whaley Bridge area, and often frequented Bella’s Cafe on Market Street.
“The lady who runs Bella’s was fantastic and kept a poster up of him long after others had been taken down,” Helen said.
“She knew him, knew what he liked to eat and everything. He used to love saving his money up and going there for a big breakfast.”
Since Steven’s disappearance, Helen has planted a tree for him in Whaley Bridge, which she visits regularly.
“I go and put flowers around it,” she said. “I talk to him when I go there and tell him how much I’m missing him. It’s been decorated up for Christmas so I’ll go and decorate it now for his birthday on Friday.
“He used to love walking through the area on his way to the village, so that is why I planted it there. He just loved the simple pleasures in life.”
Buxton Section Inspector Martin Coey said: “It is likely Steven went missing just after he was dropped off.
“It was a bank holiday weekend and we’ve done a lot of searches for him but unusually we’ve had no sightings of him since.”
Anyone with any information about Steven’s disappearance should contact police on 101.