Police search for missing Scot
David Landes · 28 Aug 2008, 16:12
Published: 28 Aug 2008 16:12 GMT+02:00
Stuart Pilling, originally from Scotland, was last seen on July 24th about 40 kilometres from Uppsala in eastern Sweden, near the small town of Östervåla.
He had settled there in September 2007 with his family in the hopes of going into business as a plumber and builder.
At nearly two metres tall, with greying black hair, a beard, and glasses, the lanky Pilling has a rather striking appearance.
As a result, police are not encouraged by the lack of reported sightings in the weeks since Pilling’s disappearance.
“What’s most troubling is that if he were out on the streets, someone would recognize him,” police inspector Ove Dahlberg told The Local.
“There is a glimmer of hope, but not much.”
While Pilling had high hopes when he came to Sweden, he soon discovered that finding work was more difficult than he expected, due in part to his lack of Swedish language skills.
Then last summer, Pilling fell off a ladder while making repairs on his home, resulting in several fractures to his spine.
Depressed about his injuries, Pilling’s mood worsened in the weeks following the accident as his prospects of succeeding in Sweden dwindled.
The family’s financial troubles mounted, and soon Pilling began to doubt whether he’d ever work again.
Over the summer, the family finally decided it would be best for everyone if they moved back to Scotland
In July, Pilling’s wife traveled to Scotland with the couple’s two children before returning to Sweden to meet up with her husband.
On July 24th, Pilling then abruptly got out of his car and disappeared down a path near Östervåla.
His wife hasn’t seen or heard from him since.
Pilling was reported missing the following day, after which police launched an extensive search of the area, but to no avail.
The only lead was a blurry photograph turned in by a family who happened to stumble across Stuart shortly after he disappeared.
Since then, police have only received one additional report of a possible sighting.
“There is a person who reported seeing someone who matched his description on August 13th,” said Dalhberg.
“But they couldn’t identify his face, only his body type.”
Dahlberg added that the witness claimed the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs, something that corresponds to the erratic behaviour exhibited by Pilling at the time of his disappearance.
While the intense search which followed Stuart’s disappearance has been scaled back, police continue to perform regular patrols in the area.
The British Embassy has also been informed of the matter.
Dahlberg said there were currently no suspicions of foul play, adding there are many reasons why people go missing.
“Unfortunately, this isn’t as uncommon as one might think. People disappear,” he said.
Anyone with any information about Stuart Pilling is encouraged to contact the police at 018-15 44 44.