The mystery surrounding the family doctor missing for 11 years when his kids say they want him to come home

dr David Lidgey left a handwritten note on the kitchen table that read “Took a walk” on June 29, 2011 and has not been seen by his wife or three children since

Shona with her three children and missing father David
Shona with her three children and missing father David

The children of a family doctor who mysteriously disappeared 11 years ago have spoken out for the first time to say they have no anger or bitterness towards their father, only sympathy for the emotional turmoil that is causing him to do so made her leave.

dr David Lidgey left a handwritten note on the kitchen table that read “Went for a walk” on June 29, 2011 and has not been seen since.

He left his phone, wallet, watch, car keys, credit cards, passport and even the loose change in his pockets when he left his Norfolk home.

His colleague Shona, the doctor, and their three children, Ruth, Arthur and Tom, did not know what had happened to him as extensive searches and missing persons appeals got them no closer to the truth.

Shona, who is now officially his widow, says the mystery of his disappearance is like an agonizing open wound as they have no way of knowing if he is alive or dead.

David Lidgey went missing in 2011


In 2018, seven years after David’s disappearance, she received text messages out of the blue that read “You’ll see me again soon,” but the family was again distraught when the identity of the person who sent them could not be determined.

Police confirmed the number, which is no longer in service, was being used in the London area but gave no further clues.

Shona said she had no idea if the messages were a cruel prank but she felt it came from David, who she believes is still alive.

His daughter Ruth, who is now 26 and works in university admissions, said she was dying to know what happened to her father.

“When someone dies you can grieve and move on, but when someone you love is missing there is nothing but uncertainty even though life goes on,” she said post.

“If he lives, I would love to have him back in our lives in some way, no matter how difficult that may be for all of us.”

David and his children


Son Arthur, a personal trainer and nutritionist, believes his father is dead, adding: “I can’t imagine how one person can live completely off the radar for so long without leaving a mark, but I’d love to have some kind of dissolution.”

Speaking to the Mirror in 2012, Shona said David had suffered from depression since he was young and was struggling with yet another dark episode before he went missing.

In his lowest moments, he’d talked about suicide and said his family would be better off without him.

She said: “I used to have a recurring dream of David walking through the door and the children pouncing on him and the tears of relief.

“I don’t have that as much now and part of me feels guilty while the other part feels like it’s sane because if he had died that would be normal.

“But in my gut I’m sure David is alive. Sometimes I talk to him. I’m sitting here and I’m like, ‘Where are you?’

Shona and David met on a GP training course and married in 1995.

He was a devoted father who loved playing rollicking games with the kids and instilling his love of sports.

But while he continued to work as a doctor, he also had bouts of depression and insecurity that he hid from everyone but Shona.

Shona with sons Arthur and Tom after David went missing


The seizures improved over time, but despite urging his own patients to seek psychiatric help, David refused to do so himself – fearing it might hurt his career and his colleagues’ view of him.

Shona says: “Obviously that wasn’t true because his treatment would have been confidential and the medical profession deals with this disease every day.

“But David felt he had to deal with the illness in his own way – an all too common male approach to depression.

“The irony is that he was very good at helping other depressed people. Ex-patients have called me and said how wonderful he was with them.

“It’s so sad that his pride didn’t allow him to accept this help himself.”

In early 2011, David fell into another depressive episode.

The family had moved to Norfolk from London four years earlier and although Shona and the children had settled in well and made new friends, he missed his old job in the capital and was only able to find a part-time job.

Shona says: “The move didn’t work out for him, but I also feel like he had some unresolved issues that had been piling up for years.”

On the morning of June 29th, David took the children to school. He texted Shona to say he wasn’t going to work and she assumed he was too uncomfortable.

A neighbor saw him coming home 40 minutes later but by the time Shona got home from work he was gone.

David’s details are on the Missing People charity website. Shona urges him to get in touch through her if he isn’t willing to call her.

“All I can say and keep saying is, ‘David, please, please come back. We love you very much’.”

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