South Yorkshire Police issue new appeal for help in tracing man missing for four years

Thomas Groome
Thomas Groome
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Detectives trying to solve the mystery surrounding a South Yorkshire man’s disappearance have issued a new appeal for information - almost four years after he was last seen.

Thomas Groome was last seen on New Year’s Day 2010.

The Irish national, aged 54, had spent Christmas in Barnsley and New Year’s Eve in Doncaster, but has not been seen since.

He left his son’s house in Thorne on January 1 and his family understood he was due to travel to Portugal, where he hoped to set up a small business.

But relatives were unable to contact him over the next few months and reported him missing to South Yorkshire Police and the authorities in Portugal.

For the last two years, a team of detectives from South Yorkshire Police has been investigating the disappearance and earlier this year they arrested three men and two women on suspicion of murder.

The suspects – a 36-year-old man from Wheatley, two Bentley men aged 24 and a 57, a woman aged 33 from Wheatley, and a 55-year-old woman from the Republic of Ireland – have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Det Insp Jade Brice, leading the investigation, said: “South Yorkshire Police has been investigating Thomas’ disappearance with help and support from authorities in Portugal and Ireland.

“We have made extensive inquiries in Dublin, Lagos and within South Yorkshire with a view to establishing whether or not he left the country in January 2010 and to ascertain the circumstances surrounding his last known movements.

“We have also carried out detailed forensic work here and abroad to help shed light on what may have happened to Thomas.

“However, we still need help from the public on potential sightings of him on or since New Year’s Day 2010, and in particular of the car we know Thomas owned and drove.”

Thomas had a distinctive black left-hand drive Wolfsburg edition Volkswagen Golf car, with alloy wheels, darkened windows and a big filter exhaust.

The vehicle had foreign registration plates.

Thomas was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt, a blue and white checked shirt, and a knitted cardigan.