Yapton family’s concern grows for missing war hero

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A GULF War veteran has spoken of his mounting frustration and heartache at efforts to find his brother, who has been missing in Germany for weeks.

Kenny Edwards, of Giles Close, Yapton, and his family, have been living a ‘nightmare’ since before Christmas, when his brother Tony disappeared while visiting his estranged ex-wife and their three children in Germany.

Kenny Edwards the brother of an Army veteran missing in German is making a desperate appeal for help.

Kenny Edwards the brother of an Army veteran missing in German is making a desperate appeal for help.

Tony, 47, who served in the Army for 22 years, and fought in the first Gulf War with his brother, and other conflicts, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has not been seen or heard from since December 23.

Fears are now mounting over his well-being. Kenny, 48, said: “I haven’t slept since this happened. It’s just literally so frustrating because it seems police aren’t doing enough to help.

“The ‘minions’, as it were, up to sergeants have been brilliant. It’s the people and systems above them that are the problem.

“To them it’s just another missing person. To me, it’s my brother; he is a father of his children and a veteran of the Army.”

WH 130115 Missing Army veteran. Kenny Edwards the brother of an Army veteran missing in German is making a desperate appeal for help. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150113-225628001

WH 130115 Missing Army veteran. Kenny Edwards the brother of an Army veteran missing in German is making a desperate appeal for help. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150113-225628001

Sussex Police has been working alongside Interpol and their German counterparts in an effort to trace Tony, who lives in Main Road, Yapton. However, Kenny feels the communication between the three agencies has been slow and ineffective costing the family valuable time in their search to find Tony.

He added: “Everyone’s worst nightmare is that it’s not going to be a happy ending. We lost time in this, really important time in hunting for him. I don’t know what impact this could have.”

Responding, a spokesman for Sussex Police’s missing persons team said: “(The team) did not simply pass the report to Germany and leave it at that. Active enquiries were carried out here.

“However, there are legal and procedural protocols we must adhere to when dealing with enquiries which involve foreign police forces. All requests must go through Interpol when we are undertaking enquires on behalf of others who they have the lead for an investigation, as in this case.

“Despite having to comply with international agreements in matters such as this, we do sympathise with the family’s frustrations and have, as a result, gone beyond what would usually be required of us by, for example, continuing to conduct financial checks on a regular basis and by making phone checks.”

Tony, who grew up in Guildford Road, Rustington, was meant to be travelling near to Hanover, in the centre of Germany, a route his brother said Tony had done ‘thousands of times before’.

However, he was last seen after being picked up by German police in Offenburg, more than 300 hundred miles to the south-west of his destination, on December 23.

“We don’t know why he would be down there – that’s the million dollar question, to be honest,” Kenny added. “He isn’t using his bank account, that was confirmed by police last Thursday. He turned his phone on on January 2nd; that was only for four hours.”

Word of the family’s plight has spread over social media prompting veterans from across Europe to mobilise and join the search.

Kenny added it was heart-breaking not knowing where his brother was or what condition he was in.

“When I left the Army and moved to Yapton I always knew where he was – he was with the family and regiment in Germany,” he said. “But now I am just in a bad place. I have no idea where he is or how he is doing. It’s something I can’t comprehend. It’s not right, I’m feeling totally knackered, angry, frustrated, angry, angry, angry. It’s been a nightmare.”