Missing student’s father believes son is alive

Alan McInnes fought to hold back tears as he appealed for information on his missing son David in Stirling. Picture: PA
Alan McInnes fought to hold back tears as he appealed for information on his missing son David in Stirling. Picture: PA
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THE father of a teenager missing for almost a month believes his son is still alive, and says his family is “incomplete” without him.

David O’Halloran was last seen in the early hours of Friday 18 January after leaving a night out with friends in Stirling.

His father Alan McInnes fought back tears as he appealed for further information on the missing student yesterday.

He said: “David has been missing for a month and every day we hope that he’s found safe. We remain 100 per cent sure he is alive and hope somebody has seen him or knows where he is.

“He may have injured himself and someone has helped him. Too many people have said he is no longer with us but we have to remain focused that he is alive and that, for whatever reason, he can’t come home. We’re looking for a person and not a body.”

After a long pause, Mr McInnes added: “David, son, if you can see or hear this, please know that we miss you, we love you and we all need you home. Our family is incomplete without you.”

The 18-year-old maths student had gone out with friends after finishing work. They had drinks at Stirling University accommodation before heading out into the city. At around 1am, Mr O’Halloran was asked to leave a nightclub by a member of staff and got in a taxi to head home, Central Scotland Police said.

He got out of the taxi before arriving at his student flat and said he would walk the rest of the way. He was then spotted by various drivers making his way towards Stirling University.

The last sighting police have of him is CCTV footage showing him crossing Henderson Street in nearby Bridge of Allan at around 2:20am.

Police have used mountain rescue teams, trained dogs and a helicopter as part of their search and are now focusing on the River Forth and Carron with underwater diving teams.

Superintendent Gordon Dawson said: “We are extremely concerned for him. We have carried out extensive searches using every available resource but there is no trace of him. We are still keen to speak to the driver of a white car, possibly a Skoda, which was seen driving along Henderson Street prior to the last sighting of David.

“A police car drove down the street at 3am and did not see David so we have a 40-minute gap to narrow down and the driver of the white car may have seen David in another location.”

Police, fire and underwater search crews were scouring the River Carron yesterday. Mr Dawson added: “We’re searching for David and, as we’ve said to Alan and his family, our searches will continue to try and find David and bring him home. We’re checking rivers and waters and it has been difficult because of the recent weather and the levels of some of the rivers, but we want to find David and bring him home to his mum and dad.”

Mr O’Halloran is 5ft 5in, of slim build and has short brown hair with blond highlights. He was wearing a white T-shirt with a checked shirt on top, black slim-fit jeans and black trainers.

He lived with his mother in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, before enrolling at Stirling University last September but was in regular contact with his father and stepmother, from the Glasgow area.

At the police press conference in Stirling, his father added: “He’s been enjoying student life. We’re not pointing the finger of blame at anybody as we believe the nightclub stewards and the taxi driver did everything they normally would have done.

“They’re not to blame for David’s disappearance.”