A British hiker has been missing in the Swiss Alps for more than a month, as his family continue the search to find him.
Aidan Roche, 29, travelled to Switzerland for a two-week solo holiday in June, where he planned to track a mountain trail in the Grindelwald area. He was last heard from on 22 June, 12 days into his two-week trip and there has been no trace of him since.
His brother Connor said of the experienced hiker: “It’s not something he wouldn’t have been able to manage. But sometimes you know, all it takes is a freak occurrence for something to go wrong.”
His family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help support further search efforts, as they say the Swiss police and mountain rescue service have ceased their efforts having “exhausted every option”.
The campaign has now exceeded its £30,000 goal, with funds going towards generating new leads by raising awareness in the area, as well as the use of a search helicopter.
Below we look at everything we know about the search so far.
Who is Aidan Roche?
Aidan Roche is an experienced hiker from Middlesbrough. The 6ft 2in tall 29 year old works as an offshore chemical engineer.
He grew up in Longlands, a central Middlesbrough neighbourhood, and was living in Leeds at the time he went missing. He had planned to move back to Middlesbrough after his trip.
“He’s a character and this solo travel thing is exactly the type of thing he loves,” his brother Connor has said. “He can talk to absolutely everyone and he can just make friends with anyone.”
Aidan’s friend Beth Taylor says he had a distinctive tattoo on his arm reading “MAYASWELLMAYSENYA” and loved to play “blaring” music from a speaker as he walked.
Where was he last seen?
A video taken at 11:36am BST places Roche a short distance away from the village of Grindelwald, which sits at the foot of the Eiger mountain. Friends say this is the last footage he sent to them.
In this video, and two others sent on the same day, other hikers can be seen in the background. Ms Taylor posted an appeal on TikTok, asking anyone with information about these people to come forward – it has been viewed 26,000 times.
She says his family are looking for a woman seen sitting on a rock in a video filmed at 11:05 BST and five people near a waterfall filmed in the final video.
“I know he would have spoken to the girl sitting near him in the video, and the people walking towards him. We’re just hoping that someone can identify them and give us a new lead.”
@bethtaylor5968 Please don't scroll past without sharing- We need your help to find our friend.Some one out there knows something. If you saw him that day, please come forward! The go fund me link is in my previous video #viralvideo #viral #helpus #unsolvedmysteries #missing #missingaidan #aidanroache #findmyfriend #missingperson2023 #missingabroad #findmyfriend ♬ original sound - Beth Taylor
The family have also released Aidan’s last text messages before he went missing, sent to an unnamed friend, where the 29-year-old wrote:
“Hello, hello. I should be in Grindelwald in about two hours,” followed by a picture of the view from the trail, and his final message: “I’m still pretty high. I’ll see you back at camp.”
What is the latest on the search?
Mr Roche’s family went to Switzerland on 21 July to try and find him themselves.
They have been forced to continue the search alone after the Swiss police and mountain rescue teams ended their efforts after “exhausting” every option.
Connor Roche provided an update on 30 July: “We just need some more information. We’ve had nothing coming in from any of the missing posters.
“We’ve also now been given the bill for the search helicopter, which came to £7k.”
His other brother Niall explained how the search effort went: “There’s none of his bag or anything that he had with him. It doesn’t make sense how we haven’t found anything. From the timestamp of the picture he sent, it’s about 90 minutes of hiking and it’s not particularly difficult.”
What have his friends and family said?
In her TikTok video, Ms Taylor said Mr Roche had the “biggest heart” and would “do anything for anyone”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Connor said: “I try and keep up hope that maybe he’s decided to wander off, or he’s hit his head and forgotten who he is, but I have to drag myself back to what we actually know and the evidence suggests that he’s still on the mountain and we haven’t found him yet. There’s the outside chance that he has some crazy survival story.
“You can’t help but imagine the worst of things sometimes – especially with it being this long since he went missing. But then you feel guilty for imagining those things. Right now we just need more information – anything that can help us find him and bring him home.”
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