One year on

A year ago today, on 9 September 2014, my eldest brother Fergus went missing in Switzerland.

Fergus Facebook profile photograph hillwalking

He travelled there to attend work meetings in the town of Martigny. Although we believe he did reach the town on a train from Geneva Airport, he failed to meet up with his colleagues and nothing has been seen or heard of him since.

My dad recently put out the following statement, which has been posted on Fergus’s Facebook page. One year on, I think it sums things up very well.

I and the rest of Fergus’s family are very grateful to everyone who has been involved in the investigation of his disappearance. We miss him more than we can say, and we would have been delighted if he had been found alive and well. Other members of the family still have some hope for that outcome, but I am now even more convinced than I was before that he must have suffered a fatal accident in the Swiss mountains in September 2014.

Over the past year we have been doing our best to look after his flat and his finances, but acting on his behalf with no power of attorney and with no death certificate has been challenging. If his body is not found, there cannot be a presumption of death until seven years after he was last seen alive and well. If his body is found or if we receive any other significant information we shall post it here.

I should like to repeat what has been written in previous updates, that I and the rest of the family are very grateful for the many expressions of sympathy and support that we have received, and for the kind words sent to us about Fergus by his colleagues and other friends.

Shortly after his disappearance some of Fergus’s friends set up a blog, which can be found here: Missing Fergus McInnes. The blog gives more details about Fergus and the mystery surrounding his disappearance.

I hope we might get answers to some of our questions one day, but sadly we may never find out what exactly happened to him in Switzerland on that day. We can, however, remember the many good things about him, and are grateful for our happy memories.


31 thoughts on “One year on

  1. Has it been a year already? I guess for you it has been a long year of waiting and hoping. I think of your brother often and pray he is at peace. Your father has a very good attitude and expressed his feelings so well. Hugs to you and your family.<3

  2. To read this is tragic and quite emotional even though I don’t know you or your family. I can’t imagine the devastation of this to you all and you truly have my sympathies. I hope you get some good news or some closure soon. Love and light to you all. Lesley.xx

  3. I am so sorry that there has been no news of your missing brother. You seem to be such a close and happy family and it must have been heartbreaking for you all. I have prayed for you and I really hope you will find out what has happened to your brother.
    I enjoy your blog very much.
    Kind wishes

  4. Lorna, I have often thought of you and your family in the past year and have been gladdened by the way you have continued to see the beauty and life around you. I hope that doesn’t sound shallow or lame.I can’t describe it any other way. I have known others who, in anxious or tragic family circumstances, fall into darkness. I continue to hope that you and your family find the answers you need. But continuing to love your family and live your lives the best you can is the most important thing you can do. Your brother would want you all to do exactly what you are doing. I am not assuming you feel no pain or anxiety, but that you are not letting it rule your life and that is a solid testament to the bond you share with your family. My thoughts and hope go out to you every day.

    • Thank you for those words, Kathleen. Having family members who support each other helps a great deal in terms of coping. Fergus had a good sense of humour and enjoyed the quirkiness of life, so I think you’re absolutely right that he would want us to carry on enjoying those things. As you say, it’s not that we have no pain, and we remember Fergus every day, but it’s important that we try to stay positive. I think his disappearance has made each of us value our time here and our loved ones more, and that can only be a good thing.

  5. Lorna, I still think of this and am so sorry there has been no resolution. The loss is dreadful but no resolution is almost as bad because it means not being able to put things to rest and achieve closure. I think that you and your sweet mom and dad are taking everything positive from this that you can and using it daily as a kind of inspiration. That is a sort of gift. I think of you all often.

  6. I have frequently thought about you all this past year and realise what a truly horrendous time this has been for any family that finds themselves in this situation. So my thoughts and prayers will be winging their way to you from Devon

  7. Thinking of you all Lorna. I can see how it could feel like longer than a year. I too hope for closure for you all maybe within the coming year, as I’m sure the legal entanglements – although a side issue in a way – don’t make anything easier.

  8. Being new to WordPress, I had no idea of the disappearance of your brother, my heart goes out to both you and your parents. And I totally echo the sentiments of Kathleen, I too now marvel at how you have remained so positive with your posts over the past year, and haven’t slipped into the darkness of negativity. You and your parents are an inspiration to many of us.

    • Thank you, Andy, most kind of you to say so. It has been very difficult at times but everyone has their problems and it’s a case of ploughing through as best you can. We’re lucky to have each other, I don’t know how I’d have coped on my own.

  9. How quickly – and also how slowly a year goes by. I’m so sorry that there has been nothing new about Fergus, Lorna. It’s just so hard to imagine that things like this happen. Thinking of you and your family on this terrible anniversary.

  10. Dear Lorna, I often think about you and your family and hope that your brother will be found (alive and well with amnesia or something). I truly don’t even want to imagine what it might be like to live in such limbo with so little you can do to find Fergus.. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    p.s. I really want to say “not like” to this as it is so sad – you are all so brave. All my best. Linda

    • Thank you, Linda. It’s not impossible, I suppose, that he could still be found alive and well, although it’s hard to imagine it happening. For one thing, his bank accounts haven’t been accessed for a year now, nor his emails, mobile phone, etc. It is a very strange situation, but I think the likeliest thing is that his life ended last year and his body hasn’t been found for some reason. To know for sure would be terribly sad, but also a relief from the constant speculation.

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