Saturday 22 September 2018

Heartbroken mother of Irish man who went missing during US hike says she has lost hope that he is alive

"Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning and think, 'David, where are you?'"

Weekly searches are being carried out by volunteers in the US for missing Irish man, David O'Sullivan
Weekly searches are being carried out by volunteers in the US for missing Irish man, David O'Sullivan
David O'Sullivan went missing during a hike in the United States
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

The heartbroken mother of a young Irish man who went missing during a hiking trip in the US has revealed she has lost hope that he is alive.

David O'Sullivan's mother Carmel opened up after her 'horrific' ordeal and said that she lies awake at night wondering what happened to him.

The 25-year-old left Ireland in March last year to embark on a five-month trek of Pacific Crest Trail, hiking from California to the Canadian border.

David, who is from Midleton in Cork, last contacted his family on April 7 last and his mother Carmel said that after ten months she thinks that he has died.

Carmel appeared on The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork's Red FM on Tuesday, and when she was asked if she thinks her son is alive, she said: "At this stage, no, at the beginning there had been weeks without contact because of the isolation of the place and no Wi-Fi."

Searches are still being carried out to try to find David and Carmel explained that not knowing what happened to him is particularly difficult.

"It's hard to imagine that it has been so long but we're just taking it day by day, it's horrific, that's all I can say.

"I know there are people who have buried their children and that's horrific but at least they know where they are - we don't know where David is,we don't know what happened.

"We don't know if he fell down the side of a mountain, we don't know if he died quickly, was he there for days looking for help?

"I go into my imagination at night, usually at two or three o'clock in the morning when I wake up, I check my phone, I'm always checking my phone.

"At the beginning I was waiting for David to contact me, I had the phone by my bed and I would think, 'I'll kill him when he contacts me.'

"It went on further and there were no developments and it went on and on and now I'm just waiting for contact from America to report that he has been found or that they have found something belonging to him or even that one of the aerial searches has a possibility," she said.

Carmel said that former media student David was a keen mountain climber and that he was thrilled to go on his adventure of a lifetime.

She said: "He had been saving for this for a long time but he only told us in September 2016, I nearly had a seizure, I had never even heard of it.

David O'Sullivan went missing on a hike in the US
David O'Sullivan went missing on a hike in the US

"The Camino is very popular here and that's like a holiday park in comparison.

"I hardly slept that night but the next morning he told me it was something he had wanted to do for a long time and we couldn't stop him, he was 25 years old and all excited about this - he was planning it, plotting it and doing so much research.

"From the messages he sent us he was delighted over there, he thought it was terrific and when I went there I could see the beauty."

Carmel said that her life is "on hold" and that she just wants to know some information about what happened to David. 

Devastated Carmel said: "Right now I'm fine but I couldn't tell you that in the next ten minutes that I wouldn't be here roaring crying, I can't tell you, I can't explain it, it's just horrific.

"Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning and think, 'David, where are you?'

"I know there are people who are missing people for years and years and I honestly don't know how they go on.

"The best case scenario is that we find him and can bring him home, people keep saying at least we'll get closure but sure that still means my son is dead, and I think that's still the best possibility I have at the moment."

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