Mum’s last chance to find out what happened to son after 30 years

The mother of a man who ­­vanished without trace nearly 30 years ago is to make one ­final ­visit of hope to the city where he disappeared.

Charles Horvath-Allan, whose 50th birthday would have been 12 days ago, was last seen on a campsite in May 1989.

His heartbroken mum Denise, 69, has been emotionally and financially ­devastated by three decades of searching for her only child.

The retired beauty therapist, who starred in the Missing People Choir on Britain’s Got Talent, has made 15 trips to Kelowna, in British Columbia, and swore a visit in 2015 would be her last.

But this week she will once again travel to Canada to confront two ­witnesses who she believes hold the key to her son’s final weeks.

She thinks Charles could have been murdered by a gang similar to the Hells Angels, said to have moved to the site shortly before he went missing.

She said: “I always thought if I worked hard enough I’d eventually find out what happened to my beautiful boy. Now time is not on my side but I can’t face the thought of going to my grave knowing I haven’t tried ­everything.”

Denise, who claims a probe by Canadian police was bungled, has spent the past 29 years ­gathering evidence.

Three years after he vanished, aged 20, she got an ­anonymous note saying he had been beaten to death on the campsite where he was staying. But his body was never found and no one has been arrested.

Denise has now been given the names of two people who may know of the events after she quizzed the others at the campsite.

She said: “I’ve had to face the fact he is never coming home to me. All I want to do is give him a proper funeral and bury him by his nana, who adored him.

“She died in 2006 without­ ­finding out what happened to him and it absolutely destroyed her. I fear the same will happen to me.

“I’ve asked the police to follow up on information I have given them but ­nothing seems to have been done. There are two people out there who were living on the campsite when Charles went missing. I’ve been told they might have vital information.

“I’m going to knock on their doors and beg them to tell me what they know. I’ve got nothing to lose now.”

Charles, who was on a gap year, kept in touch with his family regularly while in Canada. But Denise panicked when she had not heard from him for weeks. She begged officers to investigate but says she was treated as an overbearing mum. She recalled: “From then on, every day has been hell.”

Denise, from Kew, West London, sold her beloved beauty salon to fund the quest and ran up a £4,000 phone bill hunting for clues.

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After she received the anonymous note in 1992 she hired a volunteer diver to dredge a local lake, where the note said Charles had been dumped. When they found a body Denise was so distressed medics tried to section her. The body turned out to be a suicide victim. She said: “They tried to section me but I told them, ‘I have a broken heart, not a broken mind.’

“Perhaps he is in the lake but it’s 98miles wide and one of the deepest in the world.

“My boy was too naive for this world and it tears me apart to think what could have happened to him.”

Denise planned to toast Charles’s life with ­champagne to mark his landmark ­birthday last week.

But she said: “In the end, I couldn’t face the world. I felt ill. I can’t think of Charles at 50. To me, he’ll always be 20.”

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