The family of a missing man said they are determined to carry on their search to bring him home after police called a halt to the investigation.
Father-of-two Damion Vernon, has been missing for nearly 8 months after he left his home at Headlands Close on 8 December 2014.
His aunt, Bridget Bean, 52, said the family are now committed to raising the profile of Damion’s disappearance despite saying they were told not to “talk to the press” by the police.
“We were told they were going to re-open the case in six months time. But we need to keep appealing to people, we need closure. “We think it’s something to do with a big drug gang, but we don’t know that.
“We have our suspicions. I don’t think the police have told us everything we would like to know.”
It comes the family endured a second tragedy - the death of Damion’s 53-year-old mother Margaret Fox, who is said to have “died of a broken heart” on 25 April.
The last pictures of Damion were taken in a Bridlington bank on the day of his disappearance, after which he was alleged to have driven to Wakefield with another person.
But despite an extensive search of the River Calder and hundreds of door-to-door enquiries, police have not found any further leads.
Damion’s niece, 34-year-old Lisa Farr, said the force could have done more initially to find Damion: “I asked them to check motorway CCTV but they said it was too late and the footage was wiped.”
Lisa said the family have been massaged with numerous sightings of Damion, but these were never confirmed by police.
Damion’s aunt, Lizzy Leadley added: “I saw a little girl who had gone missing. But there was nothing about Damion. We don’t want to go through the rest of life feeling like we do know. His mother, our sister, was heartbroken. She didn’t go out, didn’t get dressed. She suffered for four months and now she’s gone.”
His stepfather, 55-year-old Steve Fox, believes Damion may have been “running away from something,” but can’t say for certain because there are “too many dead ends.”
The family are due to appear on television this week as part of a fresh appeal to find Damion.
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: “Officers investigating the disappearance of 33-year-old Damion Vernon have completed all lines of enquiry in relation to him going missing and his family have been informed by the senior investigating officer. There is no suggestion that criminal activity led to Damion going missing. Police are keeping an open mind about his disappearance and the case will be kept open as a long term missing person enquiry. Damion or anyone who knows his whereabouts should contact Humberside Police on telephone number 101 referring to log 438 of 09 December 2014.”