Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Jeffrey Allen disappearance: Mum's appeal on 30th anniversary

Picture of Jeffrey Allen and mock-up of what he would look like at the age of 40
Image caption A picture of what Jeffrey Allen would look like aged 40 has been produced

"It's just an empty void," is how Ann Allen, 78, describes the 30 years since the disappearance of her son from his home on the Isle of Wight.

Nothing has been seen or heard of Jeffrey Allen since he was last seen in Sandown on 28 August 1982, at the age of 17.

With the 30th anniversary approaching, friends and family have stepped up their campaign to discover what happened to Jeffrey.

Hampshire police said they had pursued many lines of inquiry and there has been no evidence he was the victim of a crime.

Mrs Allen said the memories of events 30 years ago were "shattering".

'Home truths'

She was away on business when Jeffrey was last seen by his sister, telling her he was going camping with two friends from the mainland.

The friends have never been identified. It was initially feared the teenager was killed in a fire in a barn, which was discounted by forensic tests.

"He was a bit of a rascal, and into mischief, almost out of my control, really. He was a loving, loving son, but probably stubborn like his mother," Mrs Allen said of her son, who had spent time in care.

She admitted she had told him some "home truths" shortly before his disappearance.

Image caption Ann Allen said she wanted closure

"So many times I think it was my fault, should I have dealt with things differently," she added.

With the trail going cold, possibilities of what happened to Jeffrey included him going to London or Cyprus which he had reportedly spoken about.

"It's heart wrenching - whenever you go out in the car, you think you see him.

"I just hope he is happy somewhere, has a family and sometime will think of me.

"After 30 years, maybe he had suffered violence and is dead, but you don't want to accept that, because then you have nowhere else to go.

"I still want closure, if he's dead then at least I can grieve."

Mrs Allen has shared her experiences with Valerie Nettles, mother of Damien Nettles who disappeared on the island in 1996 at the age of 16.

With help from members of the Nettles' campaign, she has turned to social media and publicity events to raise the profile of Jeffrey's case.

Mrs Allen said: "Communication is the most important thing in finding anyone. I only wish this had happened in the beginning."

With another son and daughter as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren, she said she was "staying positive" for the rest of her family.

"You can't keep on and keep on, you just hurt yourself more," she said.

"I don't know where I can go from here, just hoping someone somewhere can tell me they've seen him since."

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: "Several reviews of the case have been carried out by detectives more recently.

"Routine 'proof of life' checks were made on police and other official databases along with the storage of DNA samples for comparisons.

"No evidence exists to suggest Mr Allen was the victim of a crime.

"Although there is no new information to investigate at this time, police welcome the ongoing efforts of family, friends, charities, the community and the media in maintaining awareness of the case to encourage any fresh information, which may lead to the location of Jeffrey Allen."

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