Crawley mum in missing son search

Lyn Jackson has flown out to Teneriffe to try to find her son who disappeared nearly three months ago.

18-year-old soldier, Matthew Jackson, vanished during a holiday on the island with his girlfriend a week before Christmas

The couple were walking back to their room at Pearly Grey Ocean Club Hotel, in the quiet resort of Callo Salvaje, near Playa de las Americas, when Matthew ran ahead and hopped over a small wall, probably to hide and jump out on Amy, also 18.
She carried on the 60 metres to their apartment to wait for him but he never showed up.

More than ten weeks later, there has not been a single sighting or phone call - and no body has been found.
Matthew's mother, Lyn Jackson, 49, is flying out on Sunday to meet local police and the British consulate to ask what they are doing to find him.

The charity worker, from Bewbush, near Crawley, said: "I can't understand how he could just disappear like that. If he did somehow slip and fall into the sea, surely we would know by now.

"I don't want to think of him in the sea but the not knowing is tearing us apart. We can't move on and every phone call or knock at the door makes me jump in case it is news of him. We just need to know."

Matthew, based in Germany with 16th Signals, was preparing for his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was not a big drinker and had only had a couple on December 18 when he went missing.

Mrs Jackson, whose husband, Terry, is a BA baggage handler, said: "Poor Amy is tormenting herself with the thought that he might still be with us if she had just waited for him. She is absolutely heartbroken. We all are.

"Matthew is always pulling jokes, jumping out on people. Amy was tired and just wanted to get back. She sat on the balcony looking for him all night and called me in a terrible state at 7am. I flew out the next day because I knew something was very wrong.

"He had no reason to run away. Matthew couldn't wait to get out to Afghanistan. He joined the Army cadets when he was 13 and had been waiting all his life for this. Every time I see news of his regiment I just wish he was out there with them.

"I'm sure he and Amy would have got married soon after his six-month tour, they were so in love. He has missed Christmas and a couple of birthdays and that's not like him. If he was alive and well I know he would have called by now, even if he had been hiding something that was troubling him, and I am sure he wasn't."

She is struggling to get information from the Spanish Police so hopes planned meetings through an interpreter might help shed light on the mystery. She said: "If it had happened here I could be on the phone to the police everyday but because I don't speak the language it is very difficult.

"They did interview everyone in the village but nobody had seen him so they are treating him as missing at sea. My only hope is that he is wandering around with concussion somewhere and somebody will spot him.

"I know it's probably pointless but I have to do something. I can't just sit here and wait for news. I could be waiting forever."

She plans to put up more missing posters and visit neighbouring islands in case tidal currents have swept him out to sea.

More than 11,000 members have joined a Facebook group called Bring Matt Home for Christmas, set up by his sister, Claire, 22. Mrs Jackson urged anyone with information to contact the family via the site.