Human remains found in Crete belong to British holidaymaker Steven Cook who went missing over 11 years ago

'We have truly found him again, and he will now continue to live through the shared memories of all that knew him,' says family 

Will Worley
Saturday 25 February 2017 01:16 GMT
Steven Cook went missing while on holiday with friends
Steven Cook went missing while on holiday with friends (Family Handout/PA Wire)

Human remains found in a well in Crete have been confirmed to be those of a young British holidaymaker who went missing over a decade ago.

The family of Steven Cook, who went missing aged 20, said a “fog can lift at last”.

Mr Cook, from Sandbach, Cheshire, was on his first holiday without his family and went missing in September 2005 after a night out with friends in the resort town of Malia.

His whereabouts remained a mystery until Greek authorities confirmed the remains found in a deep well earlier this month were those of Mr Cook.

Cheshire Police’s Detective Inspector Gary McIntyre said the force's priority was to ensure his remains are returned to the UK as soon as possible.

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Responding to the discovery on Facebook, the family said they would be bringing Mr Cook home to say their "farewells".

They said: "Having a loved one go missing is a vacuum full of pain. If they are no longer with us then the idle mind imagines horrors of 'what ifs' in order to account for them being alive and not in touch.

"The 'not knowing' hurts but not as much as the thoughts that your imagination conjures in the dark hours whilst also having to try and quench the flames of 'what ifs', rumours and gossip that becomes accepted as fact.

"Knowing that Steve is now coming home is an end to all of that and the fog can lift at last."

The family has maintained a campaign to try and find Mr Cook since he went missing.

They continued: "Our memories of him finally released without being accompanied by the horrific mental images, feelings and type of thoughts that can easily destroy you.

"In getting Steve home then we have truly found him again, and he will now continue to live through the shared memories of all that knew him."

DI McIntyre said: "Steven's family have been kept fully updated on the developments and are currently being supported by Cheshire officers.

"They have been provided with support since Steven first went missing and this will continue over the coming weeks.

"This is understandably an extremely upsetting and distressing time for the Cook family.

"Steven's relatives are very appreciative of all the support the media and the public have given them over the years in their quest to find him but they have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time as they are trying to come to terms with the news.

"It is important to remember that the discovery of Steven's body is being managed by the Greek authorities, who have had primacy for this case since Steven was first reported missing, and they will continue to liaise with us moving forward."

He added: "Steven was 20 at the time of his disappearance. Over the years Cheshire Constabulary has remained committed to finding him. A file on Steven's disappearance has been maintained by the force and we always said that it will not be closed until information is received which confirms what has happened to him.

"Officers involved in Steven's case will continue to liaise with the Greek authorities, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Steven's family moving forward."

Additional reporting by agencies

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