THE mother of a missing Durham University student has spoken of her ‘strong belief’ that her son is still alive.
Tolu Peters flew to Durham from her home in Virginia, USA, to renew the appeal for information about 20-year-old Sope.
He was last seen at 11.30pm on October 29, outside Klute Bar, beside Elvet Bridge in Durham City.
Police fear he may have fallen into the water, but no trace of Sope has been found despite extensive searches.
Mrs Peters said: “I don’t know what has happened, but speculation is not facts.
“We strongly believe he is still alive and will be found.
“I visited Sope about a month ago, and he was his usual happy and contented self. My last contact was a text the day before he went missing to say he had lost his umbrella. I told him to buy another one.”
Sope was in his second year studying economics at Hatfield College.
The university confirmed he was up to date with his studies, and performed well in his most recent exams.
Mrs Peters added: “He was happy in Durham. He loved the place and the people here.
“Sope was a gentle, empathetic, people person.
“I am appealing to anyone who knows what it’s like to be part of a loving family, and who may know something, to come forward. For me, these last few weeks have been surreal, but also a challenge.”
Mrs Peters praised Durham Constabulary for keeping her informed of the inquiry.
Inspector Paul Anderson said: “We have spoken to a lot of people about Sope – no one has a bad word to say about him. It remains our strong suspicion he has entered the river, but there are no witnesses to that.
“We continue to pursue other lines of inquiry, including monitoring social media.”
Sope is 5ft 7ins tall, of average build, and he has an American accent. When last seen he was wearing a black shirt, blue jumper, and green trousers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham Police on the 101 number.