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Sisters face bureaucratic hurdles in search for father missing in Europe

Family of Victoria’s Scott Graham hopes social media can help to find him

Worried family members of missing Victoria man Scott Graham are focusing on getting the word out about him via social media networks in Europe.

Graham, 67, was last seen at the Canadian embassy in Madrid on July 15.

Daughters Kaiza and Georgia Graham and Georgia’s partner, James, went to the Spanish capital more than a week ago in the hopes of finding Scott.

There has been no sign of him so far.

“We are feeling like we are starting to have exhausted all of our official routes,” Kaiza said from Madrid on Friday.

“So we are now pushing for a social media campaign.”

Because Spain is among the Schengen area, allowing people to travel without border checks, the family is wondering if Scott Graham went elsewhere.

The family is hoping that social media will spread the word through other European countries in the hopes of finding someone who saw their father. They could be hospital workers, social workers, or other travellers.

Scott Graham has had a kidney transplant and requires regular medication. He went to Amsterdam alone, then headed to Portugal and Spain.

He was left behind at a rest stop when the bus he was travelling on was driven away, taking his medicine, phone and passport with it.

The family doesn’t know where Scott Graham was staying in Madrid — there have been no notifications from hotels or online short-stay accommodation options, Kaiza said.

The family have gone to the Canadian embassy and are working with the national police in Madrid. But they are faced with dealing with layers of bureaucracy and different jurisdictions, which can make it challenging to get information, Kaiza said.

Scott Graham had an appointment at the embassy on July 18 to pick up a new passport, but he did not show, nor was he at Amsterdam airport to catch his return flight home on July 29.

At the Madrid hospital where Scott Graham went after a fall and to obtain get new medication, his family was given a report about his visit. In one part, it said he was administered medication while in another section it seems to refer to a paper prescription, Kaiza said.

“So it is unclear. We don’t have proof that he actually got his medication.”

Even though the family is working with the national police, they can not access databases from hospitals outside their region, “so that’s a huge logistical barrier for us,” she said.

Other police jurisdictions cannot get involved because there is no proof that Scott Graham has been outside Madrid. At the same time, they still do not have proof that he is in Madrid, Kaiza said.

A Facebook page called Help Find Scott Graham at facebook.com/FindCanadianScottGraham features posters with information translated into six languages for sharing. Anyone with information can email findscottgraham@gmail.com.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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