“IF you are out there and see this, please just come home.”

Those are the words of a worried sister as she issued an urgent plea to reunite with her missing brother.

Darren Stedman was reported missing from his home in Florence Gardens, Hadleigh, on July 21.


The 48-year-old had last been seen at 8pm the night before.

Echo: Help - Have you seen Darren?Help - Have you seen Darren?

His family are concerned for his welfare as he has several health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which means his lungs can close up, restricting breathing, without medication.

“We are so worried about Darren and just want to know he is safe,” his sister Donna Stedman 49, said.

“We are all shocked. He has never done anything like this before. He has got a lot of medical issues which need medication, and he has not taken any of it with him.”

Mr Stedman was last seen by his neighbour and co-worker on Wednesday evening, but after he failed to show for work, the co-worker called his sister.

“I checked his home but he wasn’t there. The back door was unlocked, his phone and medication were on a table, as were his keys,” Ms Stedman explained.

“He doesn’t have biological children, but his ex-girlfriend has two kids which he cared for as is they were his.

“As far as we can tell, the only thing we believe he had taken with him was a photograph of himself with his ex’s kids.”

Echo: Appeal - Darren has been missing since July 21Appeal - Darren has been missing since July 21

The family have searched far and wide for Mr Stedman and have set up a social media campaign to help bring him home.

Ms Stedman said: “Friends and family, including myself, have been out across Southend, Canvey, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Thundersley, everywhere, looking for him and putting posters up.”

The family claim Essex Police are treating Mr Stedman’s case as “medium risk” but they believe he is at a “high risk”, due to his medical history and the fact he is without medication.

Ms Stedman added: “We just want Darren home. Whatever trouble he may be finding himself in, we can help. We just want him home and safe.

“If you are out there and see this, please just come home.”

A police spokesman said: "We take any report of a missing person seriously and an investigation commenced.

"We determine the grading of a missing person based on information supplied to us in accordance with our missing person policy.

"All our missing person cases are regularly reviewed and we are in contact with the family."