The mum of an Ansdell man who disappeared two years ago was targeted by a cruel texting troll who claimed her son was sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester.
But Tracey Graham’s son Shane, who vanished on April 29 2016 at the age of 26, was nowhere to be seen when police sent a search party to Manchester Piccadilly. Officers later discovered that the texts, sent by a man called ‘Andy’, were nothing but lies.
Shane Graham disappeared on the morning of April 29, 2016| He had a history of depression and mental illness| His mum Tracey, dad Ron, and sister Carissa still hope to find him alive| Troll said son was ‘safe and well’ with new girlfriend|
The messages, sent to Tracey in December, read: “Possible sighting of Shane Graham (missing) (looks rough) Sleeping Manchester around train station (Piccadilly).”
The texter claimed to be a 45-year-old truck driver from Lytham who noticed Shane while passing through Manchester, and promised Tracey he would check on him.
He later texted: “Confirmed it’s Shane Graham (safe) from Lytham. Time out in his private life and looking forward with his new lady friend (Manchester).
“Shane is safe and well/Oxford Road/Manchester and in a temp shared house/safe.”
Tracey, who lives in Wolverhampton, shared the text messages with police, who traced the texter and discovered he had concocted the tale.
Tearfully, Tracey said: “It’s very aggravating because we were so hopeful.
“Straight away I phoned the police and said quickly, get someone to the Piccadilly area of Manchester because that’s where my son is. The police in Manchester were great and sent someone to go and look for him.
“I didn’t think for one minute that it was a hoax. He sounded so genuine.
“I’m despairing that someone could do that. It makes me very upset.
“I think that he should be charged. There’s no way he should get away with it.”
She added that she intends to hand out posters of her missing son at Birmingham airport in case he has travelled abroad - and that the world seems ‘empty and pointless’ without him.
She said: “It’s is a million per cent unbearable without Shane, and a zillion per cent terrifying. If I knew he was happy then my loss would be drastically more bearable.”
Shane, who worked as a landscaper for an artificial grass company, was working at a house on Ansdell Road on the day he disappeared. He was last seen shortly after leaving the property, walking down Eddington Road towards the Inner Promenade. His last text message, sent to his boss, was sent at 10.39am.
Shane is described as white, with light brown cropped hair and blue eyes. He was wearing his work clothes: a black hooded top and black workpants with padded knees at the time of his disappearance. He has links to Tamworth in Staffordshire. Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 quoting log reference 1507 of May 9, 2016.