'It's getting harder to believe missing Esra is still alive', says sister
The sister of missing Esra Uryun has admitted her hopes of finding her alive have all but faded away.
Berna Fidan will return to Dublin on Wednesday in another bid to solve the mystery of her younger sister's disappearance eight years ago.
Esra, a 38-year-old married mother-of-one, disappeared after leaving her home in Clondalkin on February 23, 2011.
Ms Fidan (53) has campaigned tirelessly ever since, travelling to Ireland from her London home on dozens of occasions in a bid to uncover a lead into the case.
Speaking only days before the eighth anniversary of Esra's disappearance, mother-of-two Ms Fidan admitted she is finding it harder to believe her sister could still be alive.
"It's now almost eight years since Esra disappeared," she said.
"That's a long time and it's getting harder and harder for me to believe that she's still alive.
"The longer this goes on, the more I have to accept that she can't be alive, but I won't rule it out completely.
"I still have a glimmer of hope that she might be alive, and I will not give up that dream of being reunited with her until I'm told otherwise."
Esra's family believe she was abducted between the time she set off from her home and the discovery of her car in Bray later that morning.
Although the grey Renault Twingo was captured on CCTV travelling towards a car park in the seaside town, efforts to enhance the grainy footage and identify the driver's face - believed to be Esra's abductor - have been unsuccessful.
However, Ms Fidan is praying her four-day visit to Ireland, during which she will meet with gardai and put up posters of her missing sister, will finally lead to some sort of breakthrough.
Her campaign is all the more urgent as her frail mother, who is 75, is battling a serious illness and "literally holding on for news of Esra".
"Mum has gone through hell since Esra disappeared and it's really taken a terrible toll on her health," Ms Fidan said.
"She cries all the time about Esra, but she gets excited when I go over to Ireland. It gives her hope.
"But then when I came back it's heartbreaking not to be able to give her good news.
"I've got to keep going. I'm baffled and the gardai are baffled too. I know someone out there knows something, and I beg them to come forward."