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VIDEO: Mum continues search for missing Rory

VIDEO: Mum continues search for missing Rory

Published at 7:47am 4th April 2016. (Updated at 12:42pm 4th April 2016)

The mother of Skipton man Rory Johnson-Hatfield, who went missing after a night out in York, says she'll never give up looking for him.

With one theory being that he may have fallen into the River Ouse, Liz Johnson has been continuing her search in Cawood, near Selby, with the help of volunteers.

David Dunning, from Stray FM's sister station Minster FM, joined them at the weekend.

Here is his report:

Liz Johnson is not ready to do interviews yet.

She is happy to talk freely to me about the fight to find out the truth about what happened to Rory.

However, when it comes to recording that, it is clear that would be just too painful right now.

I tell her that is totally understandable and anyway my visit to meet her today is about reflecting the fact that she, his dad, his family and friends haven't given up hope and never will.

They also want to keep Rory's name in the news, so if anyone remembers anything about the night he was last seen in York, they will come forward.

I also get to meet some of the people supporting her too.

There's a landscape gardener from Wetherby, a couple from North Yorkshire, who know only too well what it's like for a son to go missing, and a professional drone operator.

Search 2

They meet at the Blacksmith's Arms in Naburn and Liz tells me their focus is on the River Ouse at Cawood today.

They will fly the drone camera and also walk downstream from the swing bridge.

There have been extensive searches carried out by police teams which have not found any clues or any trace of Rory.

The case remains open and investigations continue. 

None of the people gathered today are convinced Rory actually fell in the river, but they need to feel that they are doing something, especially his mother, to help solve the mystery.


Rory Johnson


Rory Johnson Hatfield is 29 years old.

He lives and works in Skipton, but hasn't been seen since 20 November last year.

He was on a night out in York, which is a city he loves to visit.

CCTV images show him on Tower Street at around 12.40am and in the City Mills area at 12.47am.

After that, there is no trace of him. 

Although no longer together, his mum and dad are united in their search for their son and are are both regular visitors to York.

They have also had the help of various volunteer groups like York Rescue Boat and the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.

The Facebook group Rory Johnson is Missing now has over 20,000 members.

It's been an example of the power of social media to bring people together and has been a great comfort to his family.

One couple from North Yorkshire got in touch via the feed.

They had experienced a couple of days when their son disappeared and know only too well how Liz and Doug are feeling. 

We agreed not to name them, as their son is still recovering from his experience.

"In the 48 hours he was missing, it was the most distressing thing in the world, and that's why we felt the need to come and help."

They found their son after two days and he was safe and well. 

"We know how she (Liz) feels and where she is coming from. We were lucky our son was found, but for this to have gone on for five months is awful for her. We have been in our front room with a police officer guarding his phone and radio just in case something came through and he couldn't tell you about it. As a parent, it breaks your heart."

Mark Barrow, a landscape gardener, is also a diver and he wanted to help because he is a father himself and was able to offer his knowledge of the river.

"It has so many different currents and the weather conditions have been against us. Now it's spring, things will start to dry up, and we can search the river some more. I hope he wasn't anywhere near it though."

He says that the family, who he met through Facebook, are very strong and he's pleased that so many people are behind them hoping that Rory will be found.

If you know anything about what happened to Rory, please tell the police.