Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Georgia Banks & Nicola Croal

Family of missing man still searching for answers 20 years after son vanished outside nightclub

A heartbroken family whose son disappeared at the age of 22 are still searching for answers 20 years on with his mum admitting 'not a day goes by I don't think of him'. Today marks the 20th anniversary of Craig Hetherington's disappearance who was last seen in Middlesbrough in the early hours of Saturday 22, February 2003.

The last known sighting of the missing student was outside a nightclub called The Cornerhouse on Albert Road at its junction with Zetland Road at around 1am. At the time he disappeared, Craig, from Guisborough, was described as 6’ 2”, white with blue eyes and short brown hair, Gazette Live reports.

The Teesside University engineering student has two small scars, one on the side of his left eye and the other on his forehead. On the night he disappeared, he was wearing a black and white checked long-sleeve shirt, with a white collar and cuffs, black cord trousers and black slip-on shoes with a silver bar.

He was also wearing a DKNY silver watch on his right hand. He left the pub to get a taxi but was never seen again, leaving his family devastated.

Cleveland Search and Rescue volunteers conducted a thorough search along the banks of the River Tees. Detectives also spent hours trawling through pubs and clubs in Middlesbrough as well as searches in derelict buildings in an attempt to find him.

Craig Hetherington, then 22, was last seen outside a night club in Middlesbrough on Saturday the 22nd of February 2003 (Handout)

Since his disappearance two decades ago, Craig's mother, Sandra Flintoft and stepfather, Alan have worked tirelessly to ensure search efforts for their son continue in the hope he will be found safe and well. The family have also sought counselling and publicity support from Missing People.

In 2007, as the search for Craig continued, the family received a beacon of hope in a possible TV sighting of the missing man. BBC Breakfast were covering floods in Leeds city centre when three men could be seen in the background of the broadcast.

One of which resembled Craig, according to Sandra who recalled the clip in a 2012 interview with The Gazette. She said: “It was surreal and quite emotional really. It was such a short clip but fortunately we have Sky so we were able to rewind it.”

“It’s just that decision whether you think it is your mind playing tricks on you or really whether this is your son and this is the break we have been waiting nine years for,” she added.

A possible sighting of Craig in the background of a BBC broadcast in 2007 (Teesside Live)

The police were informed and investigated the clip but the three young men could unfortunately not be identified. Twenty years have now passed with no major developments in Craig's case as his grief-stricken mother remains heartbroken yet hopeful to reunite with her son.

She said: "Although it is 20 years since Craig went missing there is not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Every special day like birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Christmas when families choose to be together, I wonder where he is, and if he is alive, whether he is thinking of us.

"The older I get the sadder it becomes at the thought that I might never see him again or get to know what happened to him." To help the search, the public can visit Craig's appeal on the Missing People website here where they can report a sighting, download his missing appeal as a poster and share it widely on social media.

Missing People’s publicity officer Ndella Senghore said: “If anyone has any information about Craig’s disappearance, they can contact Missing People’s helpline. Craig, if you are reading this, please get in touch. You can call us on 116 000 or email .

"Our service is non-judgemental, confidential, and free thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We just want to provide you with the support you need and help you to be safe.

"Our helpline is here to support people who are missing, thinking of going missing, and for loved ones who are left behind. The helpline is free and confidential and is operated by trained staff and volunteers."

Sightings and information about any missing person can also be given anonymously through the Missing People website at .

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - sign up to our daily newsletter here.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.