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Appeal four years after man's disappearance

Thomas Groome disappeared four years ago Credit: South Yorkshire Police

It is four years ago today since 54-year-old Thomas Groome disappeared and South Yorkshire police are renewing their appeal for information. Mr Groome, an Irish national, was last seen on New Year’s Day 2010 after spending Christmas in Barnsley and the New Year with his family in Doncaster.

He left his son’s house in Thorne on the morning of Friday, 1st January, 2010. His family understood he was travelling to Portugal with intentions to live there and set up a small business. However, they grew increasingly concerned when they were unable to contact him over the next few months.

He was reported him missing to police in South Yorkshire and in Portugal and for the last two years, a team of detectives has been trying to find Mr Groome. Earlier this year, they arrested and bailed three men and two women on suspicion of his murder. Detective Inspector Jade Brice said:

“We have made extensive enquiries in Dublin, Lagos and within South Yorkshire with a view to establishing whether or not he left the country in January 2010 and to ascertain the circumstances surrounding his last known movements. "

She added that Mr Groome had a “distinctive” black, left-hand drive, Wolfsburg edition Volkswagen Golf car, which was “sporty-looking”, with alloy wheels, darkened windows and a big filter exhaust. The vehicle had foreign registration plates.

Thomas Groome drove a distinctive black Volkswagen Golf Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Three men arrested on suspicion of murder of Thomas Groome released on bail

Three men arrested on suspicion of the murder of 56-year-old Thomas Groome have been released on bail.

We are working hard to establish the circumstances surrounding Thomas’ disappearance and are looking into whether Thomas made it out of the country in 2010; we are trying to trace his car and any sightings of it.

“This is likely to be a lengthy investigation as we have several geographical areas to search and liaison overseas with officials in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. There is also additional in-depth forensic work to be carried out in various areas and we are still searching the properties of the men we arrested.

– Detective Superintendent Lisa Ray

Thomas Groome was last seen on New Year's Day in 2010 after he spent Christmas 2009 with his family in Barnsley and celebrated New Year in Doncaster with family.

He left his son's house in Thorne, Doncaster on New Year's Day, and his family understood that he was travelling to Portugal where he intended to settle and start up a small business.

He was last seen driving a distinctive 2002, left-hand drive, black, sporty-looking VW Golf.

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Family appeal for information

Tommy Groome disappeared over two years ago Credit: family photo

The family of Thomas Groome have spoken of their distress at not knowing what happened to him since he disappeared on New Year's Day two years ago. Three men from Doncaster are being questioned over his murder.

Tommy Groome's sons, sisters, nieces and nephews say they are desperate to find out what has happened to him. In a statement they say:

" We never believed that he would simply disappear and not keep in touch, this is a difficult time for us, but we hope that the police investigation can find out what has happened to Tommy, because we miss him very much.

"We ask as a family that if any person has any information about Tommy's disappearance that they contact the police."

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