The heartbroken mother of a Preston teenager, who has been missing for more than a week, has issued an anguished plea for information.
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Joanne Brooks, 37, has told how her family has been “broken” by her son’s disappearance which she described as “very out of character”.
Police say Michael Brooks went missing in the early hours of Sunday, January 14 and is believed to have made his way to Avenham Park and then into Miller Park.
The last confirmed sighting of the 19-year-old former Preston’s College student is on CCTV on Glover’s Court at about 1:20am.
Michael’s mum, who currently lives in Liverpool, says she believes her son’s love of nature led him to go to Avenham Park as he enjoys stargazing.
She said: “Michael loved anything to do with nature and especially the stars. He told his friends he was going Avenham Park to look at the stars.
“This is all really out of character for him. He always tells us where he is, he’s always really open with me. I just don’t get this at all, nothing about this makes sense to me.
“Michael is a very well-liked boy, as we’ve seen, hundreds of friends past and present are stepping forward to help find him.
“He is incredibly witty and affectionate and aspired to one day travel to Africa in order to help a good cause.
“Michael has a massive heart and his love for his brothers sisters and mother is always worn on his sleeve. We are missing him madly, we need him back in our arms, we all want him home.
“His little sister Bobbi-Rae asked me ‘why is he making us all worry like this? The world was a happy place when he was here and now it’s sad’. - it just broke my heart.
“She’s only six and she doesn’t get it. My 17-year-old son Callum is searching old buildings for him.
“He is really close to him and he’s just broken.
“Everyone is crying asking where is he? I have got no answers.
“I don’t know how I feel anymore. I have gone through every emotion possible.”
Michael moved to Preston with his mum and siblings when he was nine and grew up in the city and attended Moorbrook School for children with social and emotional difficulties in Fulwood.
When he was 16 he moved to Preston’s College, where he studied IT, but left early and was looking for a job at the time of his disappearance.
A Facebook page called Help Find Michael Brooks has been launched by family and friends to aid the appeal and has already attracted 1,358 followers.
His aunt, Cheryl Stewart, said in a post to the page: “As the days go on, it’s becoming much more difficult to hold back the tears and pain in our hearts.
“We so want to find you, we are all searching and won’t give up but if you see any of these appeals/messages/posts please just make contact.
“To hear from you would be a relief.
“Your mum, brothers and sisters are lost without you, the little ones don’t really understand but they are asking every day. Your mum is searching for you and each day coming back without answers and without her boy.
“We love you Michael, don’t be scared to make contact you’re not in trouble.”
The appeal comes as police began combing the area where Michael was last seen for CCTV that may help them to track down his last known movements.
Police officers, with the support of teams from the North West Police Underwater Search and Marine Unit, the Environment Agency, Coastguard,
Lancashire Fire and Rescue and regional police helicopter units, have already carried out a number of searches in the Riversway, Avenham and Fishergate Hill areas since Michael went missing.
Detective Inspector Graeme Simpson, of South CID, said: “If you saw him, or know where he is, please contact us immediately. I particularly need to trace and speak to the two people described who may have walked past Michael and his friend at around the time he disappeared and I would urge them to come forward."
A spokesman for Preston's College said: “[We] would like to support the appeal to find missing Preston teenager, Michael Brooks.
“We would encourage any College learner, past or present, who may know Michael to share any relevant information with Police."
Michael is described as white, around 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build with short dark hair. He speaks with a Liverpool accent and was last seen wearing black skinny jeans and a distinctive black hooded top with a camouflage pattern at the bottom.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log reference 0641 of January 14.