David Cann: Family hope third anniversary of missing teacher generates fresh impetus to solve mystery disappearance

FAMILY of missing Portsmouth teacher David Cann are hoping the third anniversary of his disappearance may help generate fresh impetus to attempts to solve the mystery.

Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 8:32 pm

Mr Cann, 56, was enjoying a week-long break alone in Hisarõnü in south-west Turkey in July 2019 when he went missing.

He was last seen by holidaymakers staying at The Happy Nur Hotel on July 3.

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David Cann went missing in south west Turkey on July 3, 2019. Pictured: Sandra Roberts and her partner, Melvyn.

Concerns grew when he failed to arrive for his flight home.

A subsequent search suggested he did not go to the airport.

The holiday reps’ attempts to contact him by phone proved fruitless.

His family were on their way to Turkey within 24 hours of the alarm being raised.

Anyone who thinks they may have information useful to the inquiry is welcome to contact the family either via email or phone. Numbers and contact details are listed on the poster the family have produced for circulation in the Fethiye area of Turkey.

Authorities in Turkey remained open to the possibility that, for whatever reason, Mr Cann merely extended his stay.

The search for him escalated as it become increasingly evident that his disappearance was out of character.

Despite numerous calls to his mobile – until it died – no-one answered.

Local search and rescue experts AKUT were called in, and a detailed search of Mr Cann’s likely route from Hisarõnü to Ölüdeniz began.

David Cann

Drones and sniffer dogs were used in case Mr Cann had wandered off the path and got into difficulty in the summer heat. Not a trace of him was found.

As the third anniversary of his disappearance approaches, sister Sandra Roberts and her husband, Melvyn, said they were satisfied everything that could have been done was covered at the time, but the mystery still remains.

‘Of course, the pandemic has prevented us from visiting Turkey as often as we would’ve liked to since 2019,’ said Ms Roberts.

‘However, it was reassuring to see a thick file on Dave when we arrived which demonstrated to us that the Turkish authorities have been far from idle.

David Cann

‘It may be that, certainly more recently, we haven’t had a great deal in terms of communication from them but his case certainly hasn’t been forgotten.’

Melvyn added: ‘We are aware speculation about what happened to David is a talking point in the local bars but we see that as healthy as it keeps his memory alive.

‘We have come to terms with the fact that we may one day have to reconcile ourselves with the worst news but we still talk about him in the present tense and we know, if other people are talking about him too, then he won’t just be forgotten.’

Ms Roberts said questions about Mr Cann’s disappearance led ‘round and round in circles’, and that proved difficult.

He had no record of depression, and was an experienced outdoorsman.

David Cann

Ms Roberts said the trip allowed Mr Cann to relax after leaving his job at the international language school.

She added he loved his family, and ‘his life was the very best that it had ever been’ before his disappearance.

‘We accept that no one can simply vanish; after three years, it seems obvious something has happened to David.

‘The fact there has been no trace of him means we are no closer to closure.

‘We have come to Turkey both to reconnect with David, to see the things he saw while he was here and in the hope the anniversary will lead to fresh impetus in the search for him so we can perhaps finally find out what happened.’