By now the search for Brad Arthur has been called off.
We wrote the article below on Sunday January 4th. We feel what we wrote then holds true just a few days later.
This is dedicated not only to all family members but to every single person, whether or not though social media, who expressed a concern for the whereabouts of Brad.
OVER the years, politicians and other civic leaders in Thurrock have constantly pointed to what they call "The Thurrock shrug". They, sometimes, insinuate that there is a innate apathy mainlined in the DNA of Thurrock folk.
If, in the next four months, leading up to elections, one of them refers to this, then you may want to point to the last couple of days and the agonising search for Brad Arthur.
YourThurrock saw a reference to the Chafford Hundred father of one on New Years Day night. There was a concern expressed that he had not been seen since he left Grove Road in Grays at close to 4am.
We decided to publish a story as dawn broke on January 2nd. We noticed that his Twitter page, apart from pics of his two month old son and his partner, was a shrine to Tottenham Hotpsur. The fact that he had not tweeted about the 5-3 victory against Chelsea on New Years Day, was "out of character."
Since that time, Essex Police and other agencies have done what they are charged to do, and searched and searched for 24-year-old Brad.
But what has struck us is the way the Thurrock community, from Corringham across to Aveley have come together to try and help in the search for Brad.
Some went to the Drake Road Community Centre and The Sandmartin and from there went to search for Brad.
They thought that his route home would have been: Grove Road, Clarence Road, Orsett Road, Hogg Lane, Devonshire Road and onto Drake Road.
Somewhere along the way, Brad may have gone off the beaten path.
As Day 2 became Day 3 and has now merged into Day 4, hundreds if not thousands have used their social media accounts to put a pic of Brad. Some have tweeted out and asked famous people to retweet. Personalities such as Kirk Norcross and Daniella Westbrook have duly retweeted and for that we say thank you.
Yes, there has been white noise but that is understandable. But people have been tactful and often reminded people that Brad’s mum may well be on social media and may be distressed by such speculation.
In other examples, when a discussion on what someone may or may not have seen, it has been gently corralled, into a "Have you told the police about this?.
Posters have been physically been distributed all over Thurrock but also in Southend and Westcliff.
Fixed banners have been seen on front gardens. Most poignantly, as Christmas decorations go down, posters of Brad are going up in the window.
Whatever happens and we dearly hope that Brad is found, the efforts of the Thurrock community should not be forgotten and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those who stood up to the plate and whether it was a simple re-tweet or you have been out in the cold and damp, looking for Brad, you have shown spirit and kindness, that we are sure is greatly appreciated by all Brad’s family.
All there is to say is #FindBrad