The heartbroken sister of a Scots mum who is feared to have been murdered in Spain said her family have been left unable to remember her with joy on her 40th birthday while the prime suspect in her disappearance is still on the run.
Alexandria mum-of-one Lisa Brown, 32, was reported missing in the Costa Del Sol in 2015 after she failed to pick up her young son from school in Guadiaro, near San Roque.
Dean Woods, who also uses the alias Simon Corner, was quizzed over her disappearance. He went on the run but was detained on a European Arrest Warrant at Heathrow Airport for 'conspiracy to murder' in April 2018. He was extradited back to Spain but investigators were later forced to close the case due to a 'lack of concrete proof'.
Woods later absconded from HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire on November 19 after being on day release while serving a 12 year sentence for his role in an £8m cocaine ring.
Police have confirmed they are still on the hunt for the missing convict.
Lisa's sister Helen Jordan told the Record that what would have been her 40th birthday on Friday was 'harder than all the others' for the family while they know Woods is still at large.
The 56-year-old told the Record: "Woods is still out there somewhere and we can't celebrate Lisa's birthday until he is caught.
"He is a dangerous person and we know he was in prison for something else, but he was still off the streets.
"It is heartbreaking for us on every birthday, but this special day is worse than the others."
Helen said she would be releasing balloons at her mum's grave to remember Lisa by on Friday.
She continued: "We don't have anywhere to go to remember Lisa. The closest place we have is my mum's grave.
"Lisa was a really kind and gentle person. She was thoughtful and she lived for her son - she was very protective. She was a hardworking single mum living her life and then everything changed."
The family found out about Woods, from Liverpool, going on the run last year through Facebook and slammed the decision to allow him day release from an open prison.
Speaking at the time, Helen said: "Why he was ever allowed to be in an open prison is unbelievable. Someone made that decision and I don't know why.
"They knew what type of person he was, he used various names and passports to skip from country to country while he was on the run from answering questions about Lisa. This is the type of person they let on day release two years into his sentence and then they wonder why he didn't come back.
"If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please contact the police. I can only hope that he is found."
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Police said: "We are continuing to make enquiries and appeal for information to find Dean Woods, who failed to return to HMP Sudbury on Thursday 19 November 2022.
"We would urge anyone with any information to contact us, quoting reference 22000678445 via any of the below methods:
- Facebook – send us a private message to our Facebook page
- Twitter – direct message our contact centre via @DerPolContact
- Website – We have several crime reporting tools on our website or use our online contact form
"You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111, or by visiting the CrimeStoppers website."
A Prison Service spokesman said: “Offenders who are absent from open prison without permission face being moved back to closed conditions and extra time in jail. Prisoners are only moved to open jails after a careful risk assessment and must abide by strict rules to remain there.”
Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.