10:10am Wednesday 30th October 2013
By Emma Rigby
MORE than eight years after his disappearance, the Northwich brother of missing Sandbach man Steven Cook has renewed appeals to help find him.
The 20-year-old went missing during the first day of a holiday with friends in Malia, Crete, on September 1, 2005.
The former Sandbach School pupil, who was studying business and marketing at Liverpool University, was part of a group that was taken on a bar crawl around Malia by holiday reps.
Steven became separated from his friend, and is known to have walked in the wrong direction from his hotel, toward the town of Sissi.
This week, Steven’s brother, Comberbach resident Chris Cook, told the Guardian the family has launched a petition appealing for more Government backing in the wake of the Madeleine McCann investigation.
Chris says the family deserves to be given the same amount of help as the McCanns in their desperate hunt to find Steven.
“We were told that the Madeleine McCann investigation was given so much help because the Met asked for it personally, but it has since come out that it was actually the Home Office that requested the investigation.
“Every missing person should be given the same amount of resources and we just felt that every time we asked for police we were told to speak to someone else, who then sent us back to the same person – we were just going round in circles.”
Chris’s wife, Liz, posted a link to a petition on the Find Steven Cook Facebook page, saying: “We’re making a big push to the Government to give us the help we so desperately need. Please sign and ask your friends and family to do the same.”
Since then, Steven’s appeal has been retweeted by Steven Gerrard and Eastenders’ Adam Woodyatt and more than 1,400 people have signed the petition.
“We just need to spread the word,” said Chris.
“We need 100,000 signatures for it to be taken seriously.
“We have had so much help and support from people, both here and in Crete, and we need that to continue so we can bring Steven home to where he belongs.”
The Cook family, who have dedicated the last eight years searching for Steven – who would now be 28 – were given fresh hope this year following a possible sighting on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Unlike previous sightings, the witnesses were not aware of Steven’s case prior to the sighting and it was only when they saw a photograph of him at the airport that they realised who it was.
Chris added: “I never thought eight-years-ago, sitting at work, completely oblivious to everything that was going on that I would get that phone call that would rip the bottom out of my world.
“The last eight years have been hard and very stressful for the family but we believe that Steven is out there.”
The family continues to offer a 7,000 Euro reward for information leading to Steven’s whereabouts.
To sign the petition, visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/56038 and visit findstevencook.co.uk for more information about Steven.
Anyone who has information about Steven’s whereabouts should contact the family via the Find Steven Cook Facebook page.
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