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Couple quizzed over disappearance of their son say he was ‘happy before vanishing’

A couple who were quizzed over the ­ disappearance of their son 29 years ago have said he was happy in the days before he ­vanished.

Doris and Charles Clark revealed Steven, then 23, also had a girlfriend he would meet in a pub.

The couple spoke ahead of a TV ­documentary on their arrest following a cold case review in September.

They have since been released without charge.

Steven was reported missing after he went into a public toilet at Saltburn, North Yorks, on December 28, 1992.

Charles, 78, said: “This ­relationship with the girl lasted about a week or 10 days. He liked to go to the local, she was there, they were about the same age. It was days before he went missing.”

Charles and Doris, 81 – of nearby Marske – are convinced the girl had nothing to do with their son vanishing.

Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police cold case review team believe Steven was in a ­relationship with a girl he met at the Rathbone Society, an organisation which helped get disabled people into work.

They felt it showed he was happy when he went missing.

The documentary shows Doris in tears when a police letter informs them they are freed from bail but still under investigation, and may be reinterviewed.

She says: “The nightmare continues.”

Doris agreed to film the documentary in a bid to find their son, who was left with a permanent limp and damaged arm when he was hit buy a lorry aged two.

She added: “We are innocent. Your mind plays tricks. It was a horrible world out there even 30 years ago so you do think of the worst that could happen.”

There were two alleged sightings of Stephen after he vanished. One was at around 3pm on the same day.

Doris said: “That is the time that the police suggested we murdered him. They said we had about an hour to have done away with him. It is ­ridiculous.”

Cleveland Police insist they have no records of any sightings of Steven.