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Private investigator begins hunt for missing rugby league player

Repeated attempts to track Bryn Hargreaves down have drawn a blank

File photo dated 07-08-2010 of Bryn Hargreaves.
File photo dated 07-08-2010 of Bryn Hargreaves.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

A PRIVATE investigator has begun the search for missing ex-rugby league player Bryn Hargreaves in the United States amid fears from his family that potential criminality could be behind his mysterious disappearance.

Hargreaves, 36, was reported missing more than five months ago by his employer after he failed to arrive for work and that sparked a major search by police and tracker dogs in West Virginia.

Repeated attempts to track him down drew a blank, however, and his family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a private detective to take on the role.

“The police over there aren’t doing anything.” Bryn’s older brother Gareth, 38, told the PA news agency. “There are a few things that have come to light that need to be investigated that haven’t been previously.

“The only way we can make that happen is through a private investigator. There’s possible leads and motives that could lead to criminal outcomes.”

The PA news agency has contacted the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

Hargreaves, who played in Super League for Wigan, St Helens and Bradford before moving to the States to work in the oil and gas industry 10 years ago, vanished without trace from his apartment on January 3 and Gareth believes he may have been abducted.

“Bryn had mental health issues and was in severe pain with his back from a car accident in December,” Gareth said. “He’d also been away from his family at Christmas.

“The most likely scenarios were that he decided to harm himself or had decided to disappear for a bit and come back.

“But five months on, those two possibilities look less likely because you’ve got to think a body would turn up.

“We had his bank account investigated by the police which showed there’s no withdrawals and his wallet and his ID and passport are all still in his apartment so he had no means of access to his cash and no ID to travel.

“So you start to think of the other possibility, that he didn’t plan to go missing and that someone has had some input, through abduction or something along those lines.

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“You start to think of all the weird things at the time which start to add up. When the police went around to his apartment, the door was closed but unlocked and the shower was still on.

“And on the night of his disappearance he had ordered a couple of bottles of gin from a mail order firm to be delivered in the next day or two.”

Bryn’s mother Maria and younger brother David, 34, went to America earlier in the year to help search for him but the saga is taking a heavy toll on the family.

“I won’t lie, it has been a bit of a struggle,” said Gareth, who is married with an 11-week-old baby and a three-year-old. “If we have to go back out there we would.”

The family have decided the best option is a private investigator, who began work a week ago, and are hoping to raise at least £20,000 to offset the cost.

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