Three months after he first went missing, the sister of Gordon Tweddle is clinging to hope that her brother will be found one day.
Tweddle has not been seen or heard from since he disappeared from his Estevan apartment on May 14. His sister, Frances McPherson, said although she believes there is a chance her brother may have taken his own life, she would like to locate him and bring closure to the issue for herself and others who cared for him.
A Moose Jaw resident, McPherson contacted The Mercury last week in an attempt to keep her brother’s story in the spotlight. McPherson said she has remained in contact with the Estevan Police Service and commended the work of the local officers, but like everyone else who has taken part in the effort to find Gordon, they have come up dry.
“There has just been nothing,” she said. “We just can’t figure this out. I just don’t know where he is. It’s obvious to us all that he could be dead, but where is he? He could be alive, but where is he? It’s on your mind all the time.”
McPherson said after Tweddle first went missing, she travelled to Estevan to join with police and her brother’s friends in the search. However, the lingering uncertainty has made it tough for her to return to the city so she is doing everything she can from home to aid in the search.
Although she has a glimmer of hope that Tweddle will be found alive, McPherson said she is prepared for any outcome. In conversations with his friends, she learned that her brother, whom she described as a quiet, independent and hard working man, had been dealing with some health issues and was worried he may become a burden to his family and friends.
“I don’t think he could cope (with the fact) that he would be the one taken care of,” McPherson said. “I’ve talked a lot with (his friends and former employers) Barry and Pat O’Handley and they felt the same.
“This is a person who was full of life, and then something happened, and I think it happened when my mother died to tell you the truth. I think that was a turning point for my brother. Barry and Pat and I all think the day he walked out of his apartment was Mother’s Day. We’ve talked about this and analyzed this and we think it had a pretty big impact on him. He was kind of a caretaker in his silent little way and I don’t know, maybe it was just overwhelming to him.”
McPherson added the one reason she clings to a belief that her brother may not have harmed himself is that it was against his nature to do something to hurt her.
“This is the part that baffles me. He would never have hurt me like this. But maybe his mind wasn’t quite on target and I know that he hadn’t been eating well. I brought him groceries and he hadn’t eaten them and Pat and Barry were taking him over groceries that night when they found him missing. I just think he wasn’t thinking with a clear mind.”
McPherson said because of her brother’s quiet nature, he wasn’t well known in the community. However, she said a number of people have stepped forward to assist the O’Handleys in searching for Tweddle.
“That is a real tribute to that (community). But I am just scared that he is going to be forgotten. The whole thing now for me is if I could just find him either alive or not, but find him. Not finding him, I’m not quite sure … I guess I am going to have to learn how to cope with that but I am having a real difficult time.”
Chief Del Block said officers have conducted a thorough search around Estevan but have turned up no clues to his disappearance. He added they hope to add Tweddle to the national missing persons database but he must be missing for six months before that can take place.