The Whitby community has rallied around to try to find one of their own who has been missing in Vietnam with no trace for a fortnight.
There is now a fund-raising night being organised for next Tuesday to try and raise enough money for his mum Heather McDermott and sister Kerry Hall, who now lives in Ireland, to fly over to the district of Vietnam that he was living to join the search to find him.
It is being held at the First In Last Out pub on the Railway. Landlord Justin Bray and Eddie’s mates Les Brown and Paul Upton have been getting together raffle prizes from several local businesses who were quick to step in and help.
There will also be collection buckets on the night at the First Inn, which gets underway from 7pm on Tuesday.
Les said: “Heather, Kerry and family are frantic with worry and just want him back safe and well. She wanted to get there and we thought we could help.
“I wanted to do my bit and have been inundated with businesses messaging me and a lot of people know Eddie because he has worked all over town.”
A travel agent has also got in touch to help find the best deal on flights and donations have come from several businesses including Lockers, Billy Wilson, Moon and Sixpence, Duke of York and Windmill pubs.
Les added: “I honestly only expected a few bits and bobs but have been overwhelmed. We have over 30 plus prizes. It is just unbelievable that when something bad happens the whle town pulls together.”
Events are also being planned in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, the area where Eddie lived.
Eddie, who turned 41 just a couple of weeks before his disappearance last month had worked as a chef at Green’s, White Horse and Griffin and the Stables.
His worried family say he wanted to broaden his horizons and after a spell living in Ireland he went to Vietnam where his uncle and old pal from Whitby, Paddy Hoy were already living and working.
Eddie got a job as a chef but was offered another role by a man who was opening a new restaurant and bar. But the offer fell through and Eddie was left out of work.
Mum Heather, of Dundas Gardens, told the Gazette he left his apartment on Sunday January 17 with just the clothes he was wearing. The family believe he was going to meet a mate and they were going to travel over the border to Cambodia to get a Visa and then re-enter the country. He was also looking forward to a job interview the following day - but turned up for neither.
Friends in Vietnam have been scouring hospitals as the police are slow and the fight to find Eddie has also been raised with Whitby MP, Robert Goodwill, the British Embassy and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Ho Chi Minh City.
Heather added: “I feel like my mind is full of jigsaw pieces and I don’t know where to start to put it all together. We don’t know if he has had an accident on his bike, it takes ages for the police to get around the hospitals. Or, there is a possibility that he has been kidnapped for money. Has somebody got him somewhere - I just don’t know.
“I am a pessimist and thought he was dead. There is just nothing - it is as though aliens have come and taken him off the face of the earth.”