British computer expert abducted by jealous rival

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The Independent US

The parents of a British computer expert abducted at gunpoint in America by a rival in love appealed to his kidnapper yesterday to disclose their son's whereabouts.

Paul Gale, 28, from Erdington, Birmingham, was last seen in the early hours of April 17, in a hotel in Florence, Kentucky, when he was handcuffed and taken by a man posing as an FBI agent.

A 23-year-old man, Greg Marcinski, from Red Bank, New Jersey, has been arrested and charged with abducting Mr Gale and impersonating an FBI agent. Forensic scientists found traces of Mr Gale's hair in Marcinski's car. He had burst into Mr Gale's room and forced him into a car before speeding off.

Mr Gale's parents urged Marcinski to say what had happened to their son. His mother, Elsie Gale, 59, said she and her husband were "trying to look on the bright side". She added: "We just want him to answer one thing: what have you done with our son?"

Her husband, Jeff, 58, a maintenance engineer, said: "It's been a nightmare, a living hell. We just don't know what's happened. Paul would've believed that he [Marcinski] was genuine.

"Paul's done nothing wrong and wouldn't have put up a fight. He would've gone along and tried to sort it out. That's his attitude to things."

Marcinski has admitted to FBI officers that he was "very angry" after learning that his girlfriend, Darla Guidie, had been seeing Mr Gale, and that he wanted to meet the Briton face-to-face. He admitted he posed as FBI Special Agent Trimble so he could take Mr Gale from the hotel.

But he has insisted that he dropped Mr Gale in a hotel car park near Cincinnati airport in neighbouring Ohio after driving around Kentucky for more than two hours.

Family members have gathered at Mr and Mrs Gale's flat every day since being told of his disappearance last week by Paul Gale's employer, TRW, a firm based in New Jersey. The missing man's twin, Peter, said his brother had been in America for about four years after winning a placement from a Birmingham computer firm.

He had risen through the ranks and was well-travelled, earning about £100,000 a year. His family visited his apartment in Naples, near Miami, Florida, in February, when he had seemed in good spirits - although he had not mentioned having a new girlfriend.

Peter Gale, who has two children, said: "It's just one big daze. We haven't been eating or sleeping properly. All we know is what the FBI tell us. They say anything could've happened. We've been here constantly since we found out and are trying to hold each other up."