'Someone knows something': Family's plea one year after son disappeared in Lanzarote

Gary Shearer travelled to the Canary Islands to celebrate St Patrick's Day but disappeared hours into his trip.

The family of a man who disappeared a year ago in Lanzarote after travelling to the island to celebrate St Patrick’s Day believe “someone knows something” about his disappearance. 

Gary Shearer from Renfrew travelled to the resort town of Puerto del Carmen in the Canary Islands on March 16 last year. 

Investigations by Spanish authorities found the 53-year-old had been spotted sleeping in a doorway shortly before midnight that evening.

The last confirmed sighting of the Celtic fan was in the early hours of March 17, walking with a man in his 60s or 70s in the direction of San Antonio.

CCTV images were released of the pair in August, however Spanish authorities haven’t been able to trace the man.

No further sightings of Gary have been reported since.

A year on from his disappearance, his devastated family have spoken to STV News desperate for information about their much-loved son and brother, described as a “practical joker” and “typical big brother”.

“It’s been hell. It’s like being on pause,” Gary’s father Daniel Shearer told STV News.

“You just can’t get on with life because you feel like you want to do something but you can’t do anything. It’s nagging at you all the time. You say to yourself, ‘I could have done this, I could have done that’ but you can’t go back on things. 

“I went over to Lanzarote with him and when he said he was going himself back over to Lanzarote, I said I wasn’t going – the guilt I feel now because I said I wasn’t going. If I had been with him, it would never have happened. Never.”

Daniel said his son’s trip to Lanzarote last spring was “spur of the moment”, having previously enjoyed a trip there with his father. He said Gary had spoken online with people ahead of his holiday and was looking forward to celebrating St Patrick’s Day on the island. 

Daniel Shearer fears his son Gary may have been swept out to seaSTV News

Gary’s sisters Michelle and Deborah say not knowing what happened to their “brilliant” older brother has been difficult to process over the last year. 

Deborah said: “It’s been a nightmare, total torture. You can’t even explain how we feel, nobody will understand. It’s torture daily, just not knowing where he is. Getting no news, nothing at all.”

Michelle added: “Some days we can’t even function, we’re just too upset. Some days are harder than others.”

Michelle said their brother had been in high spirits before heading off on holiday, and was looking forward to wearing a new shirt she had bought him. 

“He was buzzing to go and celebrate St Patrick’s Day, I had bought him a new green shirt and he texted me two days before saying ‘I love the shirt, perfect fit, I’ll wear it on the plane’.

“I’ve got that text, I’ll keep it forever.”

Michelle (left) and Deborah (right) fear their brother has come to harm.STV News

Gary’s mother and other sister have travelled to Lanzarote to the spot where he was last seen in a renewed bid for information.

They have been putting up flyers and urging people with any information to get in touch. 

Daniel believes his son may have accidentally been swept out to sea, having slept on a recliner on a beach on a previous trip.

“You always keep hope in your heart but if you’re being realistic, you’re looking at the waters out there and the seas,” Gary’s father said.

“I don’t think we’ll ever find him, it’s heart breaking but I don’t think we’ll ever get him.”

Gary’s sisters fear he may have come to harm and are concerned he may have been robbed or gotten into a vehicle he thought was a taxi.

“We know somebody on that island knows something, what happened to our brother,’ Deborah said.

Gary's family have travelled to Lanzarote one year on from his disappearance to put up flyers urging anyone with information to come forwardSTV News

“We just urge them to come forward. It might not seem much to them but you never know, it could lead us to where Gary is. Somebody knows something.”

Gary was last seen wearing a Celtic top, shorts, and white Nike trainers with green and yellow flashes.

He is described as being around 5ft 2in tall, has short hair, and walks with a distinctive limp.

His family said he also has epilepsy and type 2 diabetes.

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