‘This has been the hardest two years of my life’ – Sussex families plea for their loved ones to return home

Gillian Affleck went missing in August 2017
Gillian Affleck went missing in August 2017

Two families have reissued their plea for information as to the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Gillian Affleck was 50 when she disappeared from Patcham, Brighton in August 2017.

Fatima Mohamed went missing in February 2016

Fatima Mohamed went missing in February 2016

She said she was going for a walk and asked her partner Martina Walton to call her on her phone, which was found to be switched off and hasn’t been used since she went missing.

She didn’t take any clothes with her and her bank card has not been used either.

Martina, Gill’s partner, said: “Gill has been missing for nearly two years. Two years of not knowing if Gill is safe or alive. It’s very difficult to be able to think that Gill has been missing for this amount of time, and yet nobody has seen or heard from Gill.

“Every day I wake up thinking and hoping will this be the day that I will hear something, find Gill has been found. Will I spot Gill in a crowd, in the street?

“This has been the hardest two years of my life.

“I will always continue to hope that Gill will be found somewhere, or she will come home.

“Please if anybody has seen Gill, or knows where she is or anything please contact the police or missing people.

“Please do this for any missing person. Not knowing is the hardest thing to ever deal with.”

Gillian is described as white, 5ft 6ins tall with a medium build. She had shoulder-length hair when she went missing and was last seen wearing a thin blue or grey three-quarter-length sleeve top, a grey stone-effect Peter Storm waterproof jacket, brown ankle boots and a knitted grey scarf. She was also carrying a grey Karrimor rucksack.

Fatima Mohamed was 52 when she went missing from her home in Denton, Newhaven in February 2016.

More than three years later her family still have no idea where she could have gone, describing her disappearance as out of character.

Mohamed, Fatima’s husband, said: “Fatima please get in touch, or call 116000. Myself, the children and grandchildren are really missing you.”

When she went missing Fatima was slim, wore her long black hair in a ponytail, and was dressed in traditional Indian clothes. She didn’t take any personal items with her.

You can read more about other missing people missing from Sussex here and the theory behind some of the disappearances. Please note this previous article was written in November 2018 and since then the body of Helen Slaughter has been discovered. You can read more about that discovery here.

What to do if someone goes missing

The advice from www.gov.uk is that if someone goes missing, contact anyone you think may know their whereabouts – if you’re still concerned, contact your local police.

You don’t have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police.

The police may ask you:

* for their photo

* details of their friends or relatives

* details of places the person often visits

* whether they had a medical condition

* for a sample of their DNA, eg from a toothbrush

With a relative’s permission, they may also ask to search the person’s home.

The person will be recorded as missing and their details made available to other UK police forces within 48 hours.

Knowing when someone is found

If the police find a person aged under 18, their parent(s) or guardian(s) will usually be told their whereabouts unless police believe the child’s safety is at risk.

If the person is aged over 18, the police won’t pass on their whereabouts without their permission.

Organisations that help find missing people

There are a number of organisations that help, with one of them being Missing People.

Missing People is an independent charity, which operates a helpline that is free, confidential and open 24/7, thanks to players of people’s Postcode Lottery.

Other organisations include Missing Persons Bureau; Missing Kids UK; and Look For Them.

People missing abroad

If someone goes missing abroad you should contact your local police - they will contact the police force in the relevant country via Interpol. You should also contact The Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500 (ask for ‘Consular Protection’).

Report a sighting of a missing person

If you spot a missing person contact the police.

If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Missing People to report the sighting on 116000.