THE desperately worried family of a missing Colne Valley man have made a fresh plea for help.
Steven Cooper vanished from his home on Scar Lane in Golcar early on Monday, January 21 – his 47th birthday.
Now his family has urged anyone who spoke to Steven in the days and weeks before he disappeared and noticed anything different about his manner to contact them.
Steven’s car was found in a remote part of Scotland’s Central Highlands a week after he disappeared.
He left his mobile phone behind and his two bank accounts have not been touched.
Now it can be revealed that Steven suffers from a rare condition, Marfan Syndrome, which meant he could not work.
He has probably had it all his life, but it was diagnosed when he was seriously ill after a motorcycle crash about 12 years ago.
Marfan Syndrome is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue which can involve many areas of the body, such as the heart, lungs, skin, skeleton and eyes.
The most serious problem is weakness of the aorta – the body's largest artery – which affects most sufferers to some degree.
It left Steven with some difficulty walking and he sometimes walked with a stick.
His sister, 39-year-old Trish Cooper, of Brockholes, said: “There are absolutely no clues as to why Steven left home. He was at my house trying to repair my computer two days before he went and he seemed absolutely fine.
That was Saturday, January 19, and Steven left her house for his 47th birthday bash with friends that night.
Trish added: “He had a great time at his party. It was totally out of character to go and out of the blue. Every time the phone rings we hope it will be some positive information.
“This waiting is so strange. We are desperate to know he’s OK, so any snippet of information would be a big help.’’
Steven has two brothers, Christian and Mark, and his parents are Margaret and Donald Cooper. Steven’s family woke to find him gone at 5am on January 21. He had only taken the Ford Focus car.
He has a 15-year-old stepson, Ian, who thought he heard a car drive off at about 3am.
Mr Cooper also has an 18-year-old stepdaughter, Zoe, and a son Nathan, who does not live with the family.
Trish revealed that a receipt was found in Steven’s car from Morrisons supermarket at Greenock, west of Glasgow, from 9.48am on the day he disappeared. Police are now checking the supermarket’s CCTV systems.
Police, mountain rescue teams and an RAF helicopter crew carried out an extensive search for Steven after his car was found on the A86 near the village of Moy on Sunday, January 27. The search has stretched as far as 50 miles and included in-depth sonar searches of the nearby Loch Laggan, 20 miles west of Fort William.
Although the search has now been called off, an RAF Sea King helicopter did some swoops over the area at the weekend.
Trish said: “Steven loves Scotland and he’s been there lots of times, including the Fort William area.
“The police in Scotland and Huddersfield have been fantastic and kept us informed all the time.’’
“We’d also like to thank family and friends who have been wonderful in the way they have rallied round. Even strangers have contacted us wanting to help and one woman even offered us her home in Scotland as a base for a family search.’’
As soon as Steven’s car was found near Moy his brother, Christian – an officer with the Metropolitan Police – Steven’s stepfather, Martin, and Steven’s 19-year-old son, Nathan joined the police search for four days.
Steven is 6ft 2in tall and slim, with blue/green eyes and short, thinning blond hair.
When last seen he was wearing a dark blue waterproof jacket, a three-coloured striped grey jumper, blue jeans, a blue and white checked shirt and grey walking shoes.
Steven is now featured on the national Missing People website after his details were added on Monday, along with a photo.
Anyone with any information should free-phone 0800 700 740.