“It breaks my heart over and over again.”
These are the words of Bethany Dainty, the daughter of Barnsley man Richard Dyson who she would normally be looking forward to spending a bumper festive period with as he celebrates his birthday on Christmas Eve.
But since he went missing on Sunday 17 November 2019, Bethany and her family have woken up every day still not knowing where he is, experiencing that feeling repeatedly.
Officers have since been pro-actively investigating the case, with Thursday (16 December) seeing the arrests of two Barnsley men – one aged 46 and one 48 – on suspicion of murder. They have since been released under investigation as enquiries continue.
They came after four arrests were made in March this year. Three men aged 43, 51 and 68, all from Barnsley, and a 67-year-old man from Rotherham were all also arrested on suspicion of murder. They all remain released under investigation as further enquiries continue.
And yet Bethany and her family still remain without answers.
Footage obtained of Richard the night before his disappearance in November 2019 is today (Monday 20 December) being issued publicly by South Yorkshire Police alongside a new plea from Bethany.
The footage was taken in the forecourt of the petrol station on Sheffield Road in Birdwell at about 10.30pm on Saturday 16 November 2019.
It shows Richard pull up in his car, a silver Land Rover Freelander with the registration T321 POW, before entering the petrol station shop. He then returns to his car, opens the bonnet and checks something before driving off.
Detectives are hoping that by seeing this it triggers a memory for somebody who might know where he travelled to next.
As time draws closer to the third birthday they will be spending without Richard, Bethany issued a heartfelt appeal to anyone who knows something to come forward and help the investigation.
“This will be the third birthday for Dad we will have been without him, and I still feel in shock,” the 21-year-old said. “Every year without him that shock and disbelief just grows.
“I would always see Dad on his birthday. He’d bring me my Christmas presents and my card and I would give him his birthday and Christmas presents and his card. He’d always pick me up at about 6pm and he’d drive me to my Aunt’s house for a Christmas dinner and we’d stay there a while.
“It was such a happy time of the year, and now I dread it and I can’t enjoy it anymore. It breaks my heart over and over again.
“While I am at work it’s hard seeing everyone so happy and excited to spend Christmas with their loved ones and I have to pretend to be happy and put a smile on my face even though I feel like breaking down and crying every second of every day – especially listening to all the Christmas songs.
“Every day waking up and not knowing what happened hurts, it feels like I can’t get any closure not having any answers. Somebody must know something, and I just don’t understand why anyone would keep anything like that to themselves and would put a family through so much pain.
“If you do know something please come to the police, even if you don’t think it is significant it could be.
“If you are reading this Dad and if there is any reason you feel like you still can’t tell us where you have gone then just know that you can, I will understand. But I feel like you know all this already.
“The relief and happiness I would feel if somebody does know something and comes forward I can’t describe. All I could feel would be relief.”
DCI Mark Oughton, leading the investigation, said: “We know Bethany and her family are still being tormented by Richard’s disappearance and are hoping this footage might be a trigger for a memory someone has locked away that might be released upon seeing the footage.
“Somebody knows where he is, and we hope that they might now come forward to bring this ordeal to an end for Bethany and everyone who knows and loves Richard.
“If Richard is reading this, please come forward and let us know where you are. You will not be in trouble and you will be bringing such a huge piece of mind to your friends and family.”
If you have information which could assist the investigation, please call 101 quoting incident number 459 of 25 November 2019. If you would prefer to make a report online, visit the Major Incident Public Portal here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/14SY19B02-P02.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to speak to the police directly, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously via their website – www.crimestoppers-uk.org – or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.
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