An expert diving team is gearing up to launch a new search for a newlywed who went missing close to 28 years ago.
Joiner Kevin McGuire, who at the time was 27 years old, disappeared on New Year’s Eve 1994 from his remote cottage in Stronachlachar, near Callander, Perthshire, and has not been seen since.
Despite police having searched nearby lochs and having attempted to find out if Kevin had started a new life, his disappearance remains unexplained.
According to reports from the Daily Record, Kevin, who was from Glasgow, had gotten into his distinctive green car after a disagreement with his wife Lisa before he disappeared.
Now, underwater search and recovery team Beneath The Surface, from Chorley in Lancashire, have offered their services free to help the McGuire family.
Set up last year, they have already been successful in locating the bodies of two missing persons in Workington, Cumbria.
Founder member Phil Jones, 34, read about Kevin’s disappearance in the Sunday Mail and spoke to the McGuire family last week. They then accepted his offer of help. Phil said: “The fact Kevin was last seen in a car and may have gone into water gives us hope that we can find the vehicle and locate him.
“We want to do whatever we can to help people find their missing loved ones and help bring them some peace and closure.” The seven-strong team carry out searches using state-of-the-art sonar equipment which can scan up to 50 metres underwater.
Phil added: “Our plan would be to search any waters within a five-mile radius of the cottage. If we were to find the car, we would immediately alert the police and let them take over.” His crew have also been asked to carry out two recent missing person searches in Scotland by families.
Finn Creaney, 32, from Tain in Inverness-shire, disappeared on March 5 while walking near Loch Naver. And Neil Skinner, 71, from Doncaster, went missing near Loch Dochard in Argyll and Bute two months ago while on a walking trip with pals. Phil and his team recently took part in a search for a missing woman near Carlisle, who was later found by police.
And they have also been asked to find a man who went missing in Wales several years ago.
A massive hunt was launched for Kevin and his Saab car, with the private plate F22 RAC, the day after his late-night disappearance. Kevin, who had a new job in the area, was living in the cottage with Lisa, then 24, who he had married in the Seychelles just five months earlier.
Police scoured the area and dive teams carried out searches around nearby Loch Katrine, Loch Ard and Loch Lomond for Kevin and his car but without success. At the time, detectives could find no trace of a vehicle going into the water.
But his family hope the new search and advances in sonar search science mean they can get answers.
Kevin’s younger sister Sharon Garvin, 48, who lives in Ireland with her husband and two children, said: “Anything which can cast fresh light on Kevin’s disappearance is to be welcomed. We have got to believe he is still out there. But if Kevin is in the water, we would like him to be found so we can have closure for the family.
“I would also appeal to anyone who has information on his disappearance to come forward.”
Kevin, who was from Baillieston, near Glasgow, didn’t take his passport, money, tools or clothes with him and his bank accounts were never touched. Seven years ago, police took DNA samples from Sharon and his mum Annette, 76, to put on a national missing persons database and carried out further loch searches.
In 2002, Lisa, using her maiden name of Haney, took out an action at Dumbarton Sheriff Court to have Kevin declared legally dead. Last December, Sharon spoke publicly for the first time about her missing brother to the Sunday Mail.
She said: “No matter where he was in the world, he’d always ring our mother.” Police Scotland said: “Missing person cases are reviewed regularly.
“If anyone has any information regarding the disappearance of Kevin McGuire, they should call 101.”