A South Tyneside woman whose son is missing in Turkey has received a ‘ransom note’.
Gary Burns, 39, was last seen in the Turkey resort of Icmeler in August last year and now frantic family say they have received threatening messages from someone who knows his whereabouts.
Step-mum Dorothy Glenn, who lives in South Shields, has been appealing on social media for information on the disappearance.
He had been working in the resort’s Vodka bar before he went missing.
His brother Terry Burns, 36, says he has been sent Facebook messages from a man demanding £400 in return for information.
Terry said: “I received two inbox messages saying ‘Gary’s dead, he’s in the sea.’
“We have got Mersyside and Northumbria Police involved and found the phone number for the person who was sending the messages “We rang it and they said they wanted £400 to give us the information.
“They said the money was ‘for their protection.”
Gary, from Liverpool, continued: “The man is saying that he is a mate of Gary’s and that he had been helping him out.
“Gary has been in Turkey eight years now and we got messages from him every now and again but we became concerned at at Christmas when we still hadn’t heard anything from him.”
Mrs Glenn was not available for comment.
A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “A missing person report was made to Merseyside Police in relation to Gary Burns on March 31, 2017. As Mr Burns is not missing in the UK the investigation is currently being led by the authorities in Turkey.
“Merseyside Police is offering assistance to Mr Burns family in the UK and to the Turkish authorities.”
Anyone who is able to help, or has any information, can call the 24 hour free and confidential Missing People helpline on 116 000, or contact Dorothy on 07740 225186.