Missing Kyle Vaughan: Family says witnesses 'too scared' to come forward
The parents of a missing man believe key witnesses to his disappearance are "too scared to come forward" with vital information.
Kyle Vaughan, 24, was last seen at his home in Newbridge, near Caerphilly, on 30 December and is now feared dead.
Parents Alan Vaughan and Mary Lucas spoke of their ongoing "nightmare" as a major search for their son continues.
Both believe information vital to the police murder hunt is being held back by people fearful for their own safety.
The missing person inquiry took a more serious turn last Friday following the arrest of a 27-year-old man on suspicion of murder.
Two other men, aged 21 and 15, were later arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
All three were later released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A 62-year-old Newbridge man was also arrested at the weekend on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and later released on bail.
There are concerns for Mr Vaughan's welfare as he suffers from diabetes and requires regular insulin injections.
The rock music fan, known to friends as "Jabbers", is believed to have been last seen alive in Caerphilly's Abercarn and Risca areas.
His family described him as a "larger than life, fun-loving young man" as they spoke for the first time since he went missing 18 days ago.
"We, the parents of Kyle 'Jabbers' Vaughan, would like to appeal for information about the disappearance of our son," they said in a statement on Thursday.
"Our lives have been on hold since 30th December and every day since then we have lived in hope that he will walk through the door. It's been a painstaking time for us while we wait on news that our boy is safe.
"For Kyle to go missing is totally out of character. He would always be in contact with his mother every day and now we are heartbroken.
"We are grateful to Gwent Police for their help and support during this difficult time, and we have faith that they will resolve this nightmare for us.
"The response from the public has been overwhelming and we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those who have volunteered their time to help us search for Kyle in Newbridge and the surrounding areas."
They added: "We feel there are people out there who could hold information that is vital to this inquiry. It's also possible that there are people who know what's happened to Kyle but are too scared to come forward.
"We would ask those people to please help us to find our son, who is a family-orientated, larger than life, fun-loving young man who is deeply missed by his large family and loyal friends."
Mr Vaughan's brother, Karl Sheahan, added: "We feel numb and are sick with worry about what might have happened to him.
"We were in total shock when we were told that our son and brother was feared dead.
"It's been an unbearable strain on us as a family and we would urge anyone who can help end this nightmare to come forward."
Mr Vaughan is 5ft 8in (1.72m) tall, with a slim build, and short dark hair and brown eyes.
He was known to wear a gold neck chain with a cross and has a distinctive tattoo of a pair of flaming dice on his inner left forearm as well as tattoos on his right leg.
On the night he disappeared, at approximately 23:45 GMT, officers found Mr Vaughan's car, a silver Peugeot 306, which had been involved in a collision.
Gwent Police have asked anyone with information to call 101, 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.