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Family's agony over mother who vanished without a trace three years ago

'Mummy went to the shops and never came back': Family's agony over mother who vanished without a trace three years ago

A family are still desperately searching for a missing mum after she vanished during a shopping trip near her home in Collinstown, West Dublin, three years ago.

Esra Uryun was 38 years old when she disappeared leaving behind her husband of seven years, Ozgur, her then two-year-old son Emin, now five, and her older sister, Berna Fidan.

‘Has someone got hold of her? Has something horrible happened to her? It just doesn't make sense,’ Berna says fighting back tears on tonight’s Channel Four documentary, The Missing.

The harrowing programme delves into the mystery of the 2,000 missing people who vanish without a trace in Britain each year.


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‘She wouldn't just run off on her own. That child was everything to her. I don't believe she would have taken off and left her baby behind,’ says Berna as the documentary airs touching home video footage of a doting mother kissing her little boy and saying, ‘I love you’.

Esra's distraught family is unable to continue normal life and unable to grieve, but live in hope that they will one day be reunited.

Esra Uryun, 38, has not been seen since leaving her home at Collinstown in a silver Renault three years ago

After Esra’s disappearance, her husband and son moved to London and in a heart-wrenching moment little Emin talks about the mother he hardly remembers.

'She went to the shops by herself. She didn't know the way home, then she got lost somewhere,' he says as he plays at home with his father.

Ozgur tries to describe how hard it’s been for his son, ‘I can't understand what's going on. Think about his little brain -- how he's trying to cope with the situation.’

Turning to his own experience he says, ‘You’re always fighting between your heart and your mind. Your heart is saying she's coming back but your logic is saying the probability is getting low.’

An hour after Esra left for the shops that fateful morning, her silver Renault was clocked on CCTV footage in the nearby town of Bray.

Since her disappearance Berna has gone to extraordinary lengths to bring her sister home and has visited Bray fifteen times in the hope of uncovering further evidence.

‘It hurts me to be here, but I keep coming back all the time -- because she's here somewhere and I need to find her,’ she says bravely of her search.

‘I try and block it all out my head and pretend it's not my sister. I hate putting these posters up. I see lamppost with missing dogs and cats and I'm having to put my sister's picture up,’ she says reaching breaking point.

The police found Esra’s car abandoned in the town’s parking lot, but there’s no proof Esra herself was the one who drove it there.

'There wasn't a shred of evidence she was ever in Bray because the CCTV footage is so appalling, you can't see who the driver is,’ explains Berna.

'All I want is an answer and that's when I'll be at peace. There’s a baby, who's now five years old, who's growing up without the love of his mum.'

Because there’s never been a sighting of Esra since her disappearance, police have downgraded the investigation. The detective leading the search suspects suicide.

Blurry CCTV footage showed a female walking from where the car was parked towards Bray Head, a nearby hill.

'I can't say whether that's Esra or not but I can say the CCTV does not pick up that person coming back down,’ the detective explains. But Berna is convinced the woman is not her sister.

The detective believes the passing of Esra’s father in 2010 may be linked. ‘It affected Esra more because she was living away from her family,’ he says and adds, ‘In 70 per cent of suicides, there's no note.’

But Berna is far from convinced and continues to publicise her plight. 'What damn proof do they have that my sister's dead?

'How can you commit suicide and no one come across the body in such a public place. It's still a search in my eyes. She could not bear to be away from her son.’

As she prepares to leave Bray, where she will no doubt return, Berna explains, ‘It’s hard coming and it’s even harder going back. She’s my flesh and blood, my only sister. She’d do the same if it was me.’

‘I know I‘m torturing myself but how can I let it go? With no closure, how can I let it go. It’s impossible,’ she says.

Berna continues her search to bring her beloved sister home but, like thousands of families round Britain, a lifetime of uncertainty may lie ahead.

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