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Last year in Britain, more than a quarter of a million people went missing or were estranged from their family.
Typically, they leave behind a distraught family who are desperate for answers. Natasha Kaplinsky and Mark Williams-Thomas team up in this one hour documentary to try to reunite two families with missing family members.
One case features a young man who told his parents he was going away to a party one weekend and never returned. The other is a heart-breaking account of a mother and daughter who hadn't seen each other for twenty-four years.
Matthew Green went missing from his family home in Sittingbourne, Kent in April, 2010. He was 26 years old and worked locally as a roofer. After finishing work on Thursday, he told his Mum and Dad he was going to a party in London over the weekend and would not be at work on Friday. After saying good night, he has not been seen again. No CCTV, no use of bank account, nothing.
Former detective Mark is given access to his Matthew's bedroom - untouched since the day he left. Searching through Matthew's drawers, he finds scraps of paper on which Matthew had written some notes. Among them is a crucial lead, a recruitment company in Australia who find apprentices for builders. Could Matthew have built a new life in Australia?
The last time Christine Cottam saw her daughter she was just four years old. She tells Natasha of a ferocious argument with Andrea's father which forces her to flee the family home. She says she was forced to leave Andrea behind and take refuge initially at the police station. Fast forward twenty four years, and despite repeated attempts to locate her daughter through social services, the police and the Salvation Army, she still does not know her whereabouts or well-being.
Mark starts the search back in her home town of Huddersfield. After banging on doors, he finds an old neighbour who puts him in touch with Andrea's Aunt. After a delicate conversation, Andrea's Aunt rushes into her house to grab her mobile phone. She hands it over to Mark. It's Andrea.
These contrasting cases provide a painful insight into the plight of parents who never know if they will see their children again. And, in one case, we even see the drama of reunion.