Wife's Appeal Over Missing Man

The wife of a missing man from Bexhill has begged her husband to come home or at least let her and their children know he is safe and well.

Sue Ridgley has made a direct appeal to the media for her husband Steve to get in touch.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mrs Ridgley begged her husband to come home or at least let her and their children know that he is safe and well. She said, "We are all very worried about Steve, who is a real family man and though he was suffering from depression, to just disappear like this is so out of character.

"Steve does everything with his family and the only hobby he has that doesn't involve our three children, is playing golf. We have enjoyed so many fantastic family holidays together and right about now Steve and the kids would be planning where to go on holiday this summer. Our daughter recently celebrated her twelfth birthday and it was incredibly difficult for her not having her father around.

"I am hoping that by talking directly to the media that Steve will see it, or someone who knows where he is will, and contact us. I am having to remain strong for the children but it has been an unbearable two months just not knowing where he is."

Mr Ridgley was last seen on 18 January at his home in Knebworth Road, Bexhill, around 10.30am.

Detective Inspector Ian Williams from Rother CID said: "Our concern for the welfare of Steve is growing. He is obviously in a very low and vulnerable place right now and we are aware that he has made attempts on his life previously. We are very keen that he makes contact with his family, who love and miss him very much, in order to get the help and care that he urgently needs.

"Since Steve's disappearance officers with special search training have been combing the beaches and surrounding woodland. We have been working with British Transport Police to check out local railway lines and surrounding areas.

"Estate Agents in Bexhill have also been contacted and over a hundred vacant properties in the town have been searched."

Steve is described as white, 5'11", with brown receding hair. He was last seen wearing grey tracksuit bottoms, a black lightweight waterproof jacket and white trainers. He has links to Hastings where he owned a second-hand shop called S J Cash and Exchange in Castle Street, which the family have now closed and for over 17 years he ran a market stall in St Andrews Square, Hastings.

Anyone with information about Mr Ridgley's whereabouts is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 642 of 18/1 or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.