“HOW can they spend hundreds of years and thousands of pounds searching for the Loch Ness Monster – but not for a real person?”
That was the view of Trish Cooper, of New Mill, whose missing brother Steven was last traced to a loch in the Scottish Highlands.
A report due to be presented to a senior police officer overseeing the case is understood to say there is little likelihood of police finding her brother.
Trish, 40, told the Examiner she could not understand why so much time and effort was spent on searching for a mystical monster but not for her brother.
She said: “I can understand it in one way but I still maintain that all I want is the loch to be searched.
“How can they spend so much time and money looking for a 100 ft monster that probably doesn’t exist – but not search for a real human being?
“I can’t get my head round it, it’s so bizarre really.
“They’ve obviously got their reasons but they’re not giving us a valid enough reason other than cost.”
Steven suddenly disappeared from his home in Golcar in January last year.
The 47-year-old’s car was discovered beside Loch Laggan, the next loch south of Loch Ness, a week later.
The surrounding Highland countryside was searched extensively and the peaty waters of the loch were scanned by a sonar.
Worried Trish called on the Scottish authorities to mount a full search of the loch to find Steven, an ex-soldier.
West Yorkshire police have praised the Scottish Northern Constabulary and local mountain rescue teams for their assistance in trying to find Steven.
A spokesman for the force said: “We have been liaising with Northern Constabulary and working very positively with them.
“They have been very supportive of our enquiry and have carried out every action asked of them.
“There have been four searches of the shore and woodland around the loch and also of the surrounding countryside. This has used up a lot of resources.”