Dad’s heartbreaking search for missing student, 22, who ‘disappeared off face of the earth’

The heartbroken father of a missing woman has said her mystery disappearance was ‘killing’ him, more than five months on from when she was last seen. Catrin Maguire’s dad, Gerry, questioned how someone could ‘just disappear off the face of the earth with no trace whatsoever’ as he issued a fresh appeal hoping holidaymakers may come forward with information.

«The not knowing is very distressing,» he said of his daughter, 22. «It’s devastated our family because we’ve got no idea where she is or what happened.»

Catrin had no known mental health issues and had spoken about exciting plans for her future before she went missing on Anglesey, Wales. She disappeared on Monday, November 15, last year – reportedly last seen at 1.18pm walking by the RSPB South Stack cafe, a popular tourist attraction, reports Wales Online.

Her dad Gerry said she had joined friends the previous Saturday for a movie night and socialised as normal. The Bangor University student was due to meet one of those friends in the city on the Monday to sign for a flat tenancy, but she never turned up. Instead she bought a return ticket that morning to Holyhead – the island town where her family live.

«Sometimes people go missing after broken marriages or backgrounds in care,» said Gerry. «There was nothing like that with Catrin. As far as we’re aware there were no issues with Catrin whatsoever. We can’t understand why she would go missing out of the blue.»

And he told North Wales Live : «How can someone just disappear off the face of the earth with no trace whatsoever? We’re hoping someone has seen something, maybe saw Catrin on that day and could help us get answers.

«There was a massive air and sea search rescue, and volunteers from the RNLI went above and beyond for days and weeks afterwards, but there’s just no sign of her. It’s been months now and it’s absolutely devastating our family, even when we celebrate milestones like birthdays or anniversaries, it hits home that Catrin isn’t here. It’s killing me, I can’t get away from it. I don’t know where I am half the time.»



CCTV of Catrin

Until her student years Catrin had lived in Anglesey with Gerry, mum Wendy and younger brother Ciaran. Gerry, who runs a removals business, described the family as ‘very close’. They enjoy travelling together, and in 2012 and 2015 went on long holidays campervanning down the east coast of Australia.

Catrin, who prioritised having a few close friends rather than hundreds of online contacts, has never been on social media. Gerry, 51, described her as a ‘very private person’ who would hide when a camera came out, but added: «Once you got to know her she would open up.» She liked to help others, he said, doing work experience as a teenager in a foodbank and at St Mary’s primary school in Holyhead.

«Apparently she was a little pupil magnet,» added Gerry. «They didn’t want her to go at the end of each day. She would come home buzzing. The teachers said they hadn’t seen the kids take to anyone like her before. She always had that empathy and a very caring conscience. Her moral compass was spot on. She hated to see wrong done to anyone.»

Catrin’s passion for helping young people led her to a health and social care course at Bangor University. She wanted a career where she could steer youths in vulnerable situations away from trouble, said Gerry.

«She wanted to experience student life but she wasn’t quite getting that because it was slap bang in the middle of Covid,» Gerry added. «She was a bit back and forth from Bangor to Holyhead because of lockdown, but she was enjoying university life as much as she could.»



Catrin Maguire, 22

Catrin had just started her third year when she went missing. Three weeks earlier she had moved with her best friend into a flat on Hill Street, a cul-de-sac behind an Irish pub called Patrick’s. Gerry said: «On the Saturday night she’d been at a friend’s house for a movie night. It was Catrin and three friends. I believe they had a few beers and pizza. There had been a lot of spiking at nightclubs around that time, so they didn’t go out that weekend.»

The friends who joined Catrin that night are the last people known to have talked to her. Gerry had last spoken with his daughter over the phone the previous Tuesday, when Catrin had seemed happy with her new accommodation. She told him: «I love it here, it’s nice and cosy and toasty, there are no problems.»

Although Catrin and her friend had moved into the Hill Street flat, they had yet to sign a tenancy contract with the provider, First Living. They were due to finalise the paperwork at 3pm on the Monday but Catrin did not arrive at the company’s office.

Her friend assumed she had gone home to her family. But when the friend contacted Catrin’s family at 7.30pm the following day, it became clear she was missing. «We thought, ‘Hang on a minute, this is out of character,'» said Gerry.

Gerry immediately called North Wales Police, who found that Catrin had bought a return train ticket from Bangor to Holyhead on the Monday morning. Gerry and Wendy were able to identify their daughter on Holyhead station’s CCTV, which showed she had been there at around 11.30am. A Ring doorbell camera then caught her walking opposite Holyhead High School on South Stack Road, wearing a black duffel coat and a light-coloured handbag.



South Stack

The last reported sighting of Catrin came at 1.18pm outside the cafe of the RSPB nature reserve. A shepherd sitting in a parked van said they saw her walk past the cafe, up the hill towards the car park. «I’ve only seen still images from the CCTV that day,» said Gerry. «I don’t know what her demeanour was like or if she was on her phone or anything like that.

«Catrin’s course tutor said she was quiet and kept herself to herself but she was up to date with her assignments. She had passed her first two years. I’d spoken to her GP and the only medical issue she had was asthma. No flags had been raised.

«She was planning to take a year out at the end of her course. She’d just got a passport in February and she was hoping to do some travelling, probably around Europe. She was considering doing a master’s degree in the same subject but going to another university. Catrin had planned for the future, she would say, ‘I’m going to do this Dad.’

«Some people can go away a long time and then come back. We just don’t know. The horrible thing for our family is we don’t know what’s happened. Catrin’s younger brother thinks the world of her. The two of them would sometimes sit up until the early hours just chatting rubbish. He’s devastated.»

Catrin is around 5ft 5ins tall with a slim build. Gerry said he was keen for the appeal to reach anyone who may have been on holiday in Holyhead and seen Catrin around the time of her disappearance.

A police spokeswoman said: «North Wales Police confirm that Catrin remains missing and continue to encourage anyone who saw Catrin at South Stack, Holyhead on the afternoon of November 15, 2021, or who may have any further information on this missing person to contact us.» If you have information, call North Wales Police on 101 quoting reference Z167766.

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