Parents appeal for son to return

Merseyside Police are continuing to search for 21-year-old Robbie Crofts after the body of his girlfriend, Hayley Holmes, was found on the beach at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton on August 29.

Robbie's mum, Ellen Ann Crofts, gave a message to her son, saying: "We feel helpless not knowing where to start looking for you. We feel you are out there somewhere and need you to let us know you're safe."

She added: "And what about little Eva, your baby daughter? You are so proud of her; your hopes for her future. She is missing you too. Please come home Robbie."

The pair went missing after attending the Matthew Street Festival in Liverpool after they visited the New Brighton promenade on August 28. The evening was said to be a particularly rough night on the water.

Hayley, 17, was found on the shore the next morning at 7am. A post mortem examination established the cause of death as drowning.

Detectives strongly believe trainers and a phone found on the slipway to the beach belong to Robbie. But they are keeping an "open mind" about whether Robbie entered the water at New Brighton, and are appealing to anyone who may have seen him since Sunday night to get in touch.

In particular, detectives are interested to hear from anyone that was stopping in a nearby Travellodge  that weekend who may have seen Robbie at the waterfront.

DCI Ian Hassell said: "We've had a number of potential sightings but nothing concrete."
He admitted that the investigation has been "extremely difficult" and said: "All the lines of enquiry are providing dead ends at the moment."

Merseyside Police is utilising the North West Underwater search and Marine unit, the Coastguard and North West Air Operations Group in the search for Robbie, as well as searching CCTV for land-based sightings and making house-to-house enquiries in the New Brighton area.

Anyone with information can contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 2265.

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