Saturday 23 March 2019

'I'll never give up hope of finding Esra', says sister

Berna Fidan has been hunting for Esra for seven years
Berna Fidan has been hunting for Esra for seven years
Esra Uryun

The sister of a woman who has been missing for seven years has vowed never to give up searching for her, despite the crushing blow of losing a vital lead.

Esra Uryun (38), a married mother-of-one, was last seen leaving her family home in Clondalkin, west Dublin, on February 23, 2011.

Relatives believe she was abducted some time between setting off and the discovery of her car in Bray, Co Wicklow, later that morning.

Although the grey Renault Twingo was captured on CCTV driving towards a car park in the seaside town, the face of the driver - who the family believe to be Esra's abductor - could not be made out.


Berna Fidan, who has led a tireless campaign to find her younger sister, said the best hope of a breakthrough had rested on recent efforts by a specialist team in the UK to enhance the grainy images.

However, London-based Berna, a 52-year-old mother-of-two, conceded she has "all but lost hope" of finding her sister after being told that attempts to clarify the footage had failed.

"I was really pinning my hopes on that CCTV footage being enhanced because I'm convinced Esra's abductor was driving her car," she said on the eve of the seventh anniversary of Esra's disappearance.

"The gardai took the footage to a specialist team in the UK last November, but unfortunately they weren't able to enhance it. It's absolutely devastating - all our hopes rested on that."

Despite the setback, Berna will return to Ireland today in another desperate bid to retrace Esra's last known steps.

"To be honest, I now feel less hopeful than ever of a breakthrough," she said. "I don't think she's alive, but until I find a body, I will never give up hope of one day seeing her again.

"I'm not expecting to find any answers in Ireland, but I have to keep going. I owe it to my sister. I'll never give up."

Berna also told of the toll losing Esra has had on the family.

"My brother had a heart attack at Christmas, partly from the stress he's been suffering since Esra vanished," she said.

"My mother is seriously ill but holding on to the hope she'll find out what happened to her baby daughter before she dies.

"It would mean everything to me if I could give my mum her final wish."

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