A DESPERATE mother has called for her son to get in touch and come home following his disappearance.
Linda Barnes, 58, made the emotional appeal directly to son Mark, who disappeared five days ago.
Mark Barnes, 36, was last seen on Sunday morning in the garden of his Norwich Avenue home, in Southend, and is believed to have left on a black and grey Giant mountain bike.
Coastguards and a police helicopter crew scoured the area on New Year’s Eve, but no trace of him has been found. Appealing to her son, Linda said: “We just want to say to him, ‘we don’t care why you went away, we just want you home’.
“Call anyone – a relative, a work colleague, the Samaritans – anyone. No one will think badly of you. All we want is contact.”
Linda said the family had to carry on as best they could with their New Year’s Eve celebrations, all the while worrying about Mark and hoping he was safe.
She said: “We had already arranged a big new year celebration with all the nieces and nephews, who Mark was quite close to, and had to carry on as normally as possible.”
On the day of his disappearance Mark was on his own at the family home looking after their dogs. When the other members of the family returned on Monday afternoon they had no idea where he had gone.
Linda said: “We don’t even know what clothes he was wearing when he left. We assume he’s in jeans and a pair of boots, but that’s all we’ve been able to say.
“The day we went away, he went to work as normal. We think he may have gone away to sort his head out, but we don’t even know which direction he’s gone.
“We’re all missing him and we’re so worried about him.”
Mark works as a sales assistant at Waitrose in Fossets Way.
Ben Shepherd, duty manager at the store, said: “We are fully cooperating with the police and offering any help we can in their investigation.”
Mark is white, of medium build, about 5ft 8ins tall and has dark brown hair.
Anyone with information about where he might be can call police on 101.