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Robert Duff: Mother appeals for information as police divers search Hampstead Heath pond for her missing son

PUBLISHED: 13:42 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:16 12 November 2020

Robert Duff went missing in January 2013. Nearly eight years on, divers are searching the Highgate No.1 Pond to find him. Picture: Met Police/Polly Hancock

Robert Duff went missing in January 2013. Nearly eight years on, divers are searching the Highgate No.1 Pond to find him. Picture: Met Police/Polly Hancock

Archant

The mother of Robert Duff has pleaded to “put my son to rest” as police divers search the Highgate No.1 Pond for the missing father-of-two.

The search for Robert at the pond on Hampstead Heath is ongoing. Picture: Polly HancockThe search for Robert at the pond on Hampstead Heath is ongoing. Picture: Polly Hancock

Robert disappeared in January 2013 aged 37 after he failed to turn up to his daughter’s 18th birthday party.

His mother, Helen, 67, from Tufnell Park, criticised the police for only opening a murder investigation five years later, when Waterlow Park was searched and two men were arrested in Archway but later released.

She called the ongoing pond search and prolonged uncertainty “traumatic” and pleaded for the public to step forward over the whereabouts of her son, who she described as “caring” and “funny”.

“At end of the day my son’s out there somewhere and we don’t know where he is – and that’s not a place that anyone wants to be,” Helen told the Ham&High.

“If he is there (in the pond) we want to put him to rest. It means everything.”

READ MORE: Murder investigation sees divers search Highgate No.1 Pond for Kilburn man who disappeared eight years ago

Robert, who lived in Camden and was known around Kentish Town and Kilburn, worked with his father in metal fabrication but had a “troubled life”, his mother said.

The dad of two daughters, who would now be 45, was a DJ in Camden but became “reclusive” in later life.

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“He was part of our family and loved by our family,” Helen said.

“He was caring, respectful of family and enjoyed spending time with his children.”

Robert’s mother continued: “The hope is that if we find him, it gives us some sort of closure, but it still doesn’t answer questions over how he got there, who put him there.

“We also don’t know if he is found, if it is going to lead to any convictions.”

On Wednesday, police said they were “committed” to finding Robert and “providing the answers that his family are so desperately longing for”.

Det Insp Tom Williams said “not knowing what has happened to a loved one is a torment no family should endure”.

The search of the Highgate pond is expected to continue over the coming days and weeks.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Met’s incident room on 0208 358 0200 or dial 101.

To remain anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.


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