THE search for a missing Lothian man in Amsterdam has been stepped up with Interpol and the British Consulate joining Dutch officers in the hunt.
Chris Nelson, from Eskbank, travelled to the Dutch capital to visit a friend but has not been seen for more than a week.
The 24-year-old, who had recently moved to Germany with fiancée Stephanie Kollross, failed to return from an early-morning walk.
His parents travelled to Amsterdam to help in the search while sister Rebecca, 22, anxiously waited for news in the family home.
“I have come back to my parents’ house in case he taps on that door,” Rebecca said.
“But he doesn’t have his passport and with the tightening of the borders following the terrorist attacks [in Paris], it would be a miracle if he does come home.”
Chris went for a short walk at around 5.45am last Sunday, telling his partner he could not sleep but did not return and has not been heard from since.
His mother, Donna, revealed that he had texted her an hour before he vanished to say he was homesick which concerned her because of the time it was sent.
She said Chris and his fiancée had been planning to move back to Scotland in the New Year to try to get work in the oil industry, and planned to tell his sisters at Christmas.
His phone is switched off and countless efforts to contact him failed, with his family insisting his disappearance is “out of character”.
The search has also been widened to include neighbouring Germany and has sparked several police and television appeals on the continent.
Rebecca said: “We are in despair. We are such a close family that none of us can breathe without the other one next to us. This has shaken all of us. It is the scariest and hardest thing our family has ever been through.”
Chris was walking in the Nieuwmarkt area of the city centre and did not have a jacket or his passport with him.
Speaking to television station AT5, parents Donna and Scott ruled out drink or drugs being a factor.
They said: “He was driving on the Sunday morning back to Kaarst near Dusseldorf, in Germany, and he said to Stephie, ‘You can do what you like but I won’t drink because I’m driving’. He was very conscious about things like that. He’s the most anti-drug guy on the planet. He wouldn’t do that.”
Ms Kollross told AT5: “On Sunday morning my fiancé couldn’t fall asleep so what he usually does is he decides to go for a walk, and this is what he did at 6am. He left the house without a jacket, his keys or his passport because of course he just wanted to go around the block but he never came back and all of us have been phoning but he doesn’t pick up and then it was off.
“He just disappeared. This is totally, totally not him. He’s never done this before. My biggest fear is that he doesn’t come back or we never find him.”
John Cameron Webb, the British Consul in Amsterdam, has also pledged to help “as much as he can”. Dutch police and Interpol were also searching hospitals, police stations, homeless shelters and contacted missing person’s charities.