Documentary gives mum hope for missing son

Elizabeth talks about Alan, whose face was displayed around the city, on TV
Elizabeth talks about Alan, whose face was displayed around the city, on TV
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On the morning of November 26, 2006, Alan Templeton left his flat in Newington to pop out for some rolls.

The 25-year-old said he would be back within the hour. More than five years later, he hasn’t been seen since.

The mystery disappearance, and the heartbreak caused to his family, is one of the cases examined in a new TV documentary.

His mother, Elizabeth Templeton, talks about her experiences on ArtWorks Scotland: The Missing as part of an hour-long special dealing with the impact of the sudden disappearance of a loved one.

Mrs Templeton, who lives in Pitlochry, told the Evening News: “I decided to take part in the show because any chance to get Alan’s face on the television is a chance that someone might recognise him.

“And I think once myself and my husband became aware of the scale of the problem of missing people, we started to think there needs to be more public awareness of the issue.

“I used to walk down Princes Street and see people wrapped in blankets and get quite distressed. Now when I see them I think, ‘that might be Alan’.”

Alan, who would now be 30 years old, had graduated from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth with dreams of becoming a documentary film-maker or a photographer.

His disappearance had a devastating impact on Elizabeth, 66, and his father Douglas, 72, a retired theology lecturer.

When the parents tried to contact him, they found out he had left the flat to buy rolls that Sunday morning and there have been no positive sightings since.

“It is just a quiet, constant nightmare and it never goes away. You just feel struck – paralysed,” said Mrs Templeton.

“I don’t have a gut feeling about what has happened to him and I feel disappointed about that – I think ‘surely a mother should know if their son was dead or alive?’.

“My worst waking nightmare is that he is somewhere alive, but in hell – isolated, frightened, lonely, on drugs.

“I find it quite hard to believe he is alive and has not been in touch with anybody given his character, but on the other hand I believe that we must never give up.”

She said her son had been “outgoing, gregarious, positive”, but that there had been a change in his character.

She said: “He came back from France, where he had been living and working, but he wasn’t well – he was depressed.

“We were obviously concerned about him and we were in touch with him all the time.”

n The Missing will be screened on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday.