THE family of missing man Justin Mathis are still holding on to hope he’ll be found, a year after his disappearance.
It was 12 months ago yesterday that he went missing from his home in Conwy, North Wales.
Tonight his Corby family will gather to release Chinese lanterns as a mark of their commitment to finding Mr Mathis, 28, who was born and brought up in the town.
His brother Wesley Johnston, of Lowry Close, Corby, said: “When someone dies there is a grieving process but we are unable to grieve in the normal way. There is no closure. Now, a year after Justin disappeared, we feel we are right back to square one. Tonight we will be together and we’ll remember Justin.
“We haven’t given up hope and he is not forgotten. The smallest thing, even a song on the radio, can bring him back into my mind.”
Mr Mathis was last seen near the Lifeboat station on Conwy Quay. Following the disappearance of the pub landlord, who ran the Bridge Inn, Conwy, police combed the coastline and the coastguard and RNLI were drafted in to carry out underwater searches.
A boot similar to the ones worn by Justin was later found on the coastline of the Conwy Estuary.
PC Chris Jones, of Conwy police, said: “It has been 12 months since Justin was last seen. We are appealing to anyone who may know of his whereabouts or who may have seen him or to Justin himself to make contact with us or his family to let us know he is safe and well.”
Mr Mathis, who ran the pub with his partner Gareth, attended Pope John School, Corby, and although he moved away 12 years ago, made frequent visits home.
His mother Patricia and stepfather Kenny McIntyre, of Uist Walk, Corby, sister Vicky and brother Vincent kept vigil in Conwy for weeks after his disappearance.
Sisters Vicky and Kelly have enlisted the help of the charity Missing People to help in the search for their brother and a Twitter campaign is also being run in the hope someone has seen him.
Mr Johnston said: “My sisters are doing a terrific job in keeping the search for Justin in the public eye.”
Anyone with information on Mr Mathis’s disappearance is urged to contact PC Jones on 0845 6071002.