‘I constantly grieve for Luke’ – Missing teenager’s mum vows to support others in new role
A distraught mother’s life was turned upside down when her teenage son vanished without a trace 12 years ago – but in a new role, she’s a lifeline to others battling similar turmoil.
Nicki Durbin’s son Luke, from Hollesley near Woodbridge, was 19 when he disappeared after a night out in Ipswich on May 12, 2006.
CCTV from 4am that day managed to capture his last known movements – but despite several appeals, police have found no trace of him.
It is one of Suffolk’s most enduring mysteries – with not a single sighting reported since.
Now – 12 years on from his disappearance – Ms Durbin has revealed the emotional toll losing Luke has had on her family.
Speaking as she embarks on a new career acting as a lifeline for others in her position at Missing People, she said: “When Luke went missing, my life irreversibly changed.
“I constantly grieve for Luke but I’m unable to mourn for my child.
“You’re left living in limbo and feeling isolated.
“Missing People not only helped my family with the ongoing emotional impact of losing Luke but also helped generate publicity to keep the search for him alive.
“With no new news, families with missing loved ones can struggle to retain media interest as the days turn into months and the months into years.”
Although Luke is still missing, Ms Durbin has decided to use her personal experience and unique understanding of the issue to support others.
She is now working on the 24-hour Missing People helpline.
“It’s not just family members who call the helpline,” she added.
“I regularly speak to vulnerable people who are missing, or thinking of leaving home as well.
“Whoever it is, my training and understanding means that I can offer non-judgemental support and a safe space for them to talk about their situation, and hopefully, I can help them to find comfort or a safe way home.”
The pain of not knowing what happened to Luke is still as raw as ever for Ms Durbin.
Last year, police re-issued images of people they were unable to trace at the time in the hope they may be identified.
When the appeal was put out, Ms Durbin admitted: “My biggest fear is never finding out what happened to Luke before I die.”
Anyone with information about Luke’s disappearance can call the major investigation team on 01473 782019. The Missing People helpline is available 24/7 on 116 000.