Kidnappers tried to snatch Sunderland boy from Turkish resort

Diane Charlton speaks of horror after her 12 year old son Cameron was involved in a suspected kidnap attempt while he slept in his bed on holiday in Turkey.
Diane Charlton speaks of horror after her 12 year old son Cameron was involved in a suspected kidnap attempt while he slept in his bed on holiday in Turkey.
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A SHOCKED mum today told how suspected child abductors broke into her hotel room and tried to flee with her son.

Holidaymaker Diane Charlton and her family were awoken in the early hours to discover two intruders in their room and half-naked son Cameron in the hallway.

The pair dismantled the door lock, forced their way inside, before attempting to seize the terrified youngster.

Mum-of-three Diane, who was staying with her family at the Gumbet resort, in South West Turkey, said: “My mum, who was staying in the same room as Cameron, heard a noise at about 1.30am.

“She woke up and saw a woman in the room and realised Cameron wasn’t in his bed.

“He’d been forced out and was stood outside the door of the room in his boxer shorts.

“When we woke up and saw what was happening, they must have just run off.”

The 47-year-old, from Downhill, Sunderland, said her 12-year-old son, a pupil at Castleview Enterprise Academy, was left traumatised by the ordeal.

“We just wanted to get back home as soon as we could,” she said.

“He ended up in hospital the day after it happened. The doctors said they thought it was dehydration, but we think it was delayed shock.

“He kept saying he heard a man’s voice in the room as well as the woman’s.”

Diane said she tried to contact the local police, but was left “completely frustrated”.

“I told everything to the staff at the hotel, but all they said was that the woman could have been the maid,” she said. “The maid at one in the morning? I couldn’t believe it.

“It looked as if they had dismantled the lock on the door. There were bits and pieces all over the floor and we never found part of the handle.

“We tried to get a number for the police, but in the end we had to call my family back home.

“They gave me a number for the British Embassy.”

However, Diane, husband David, 47, and her mum Verna Cole, 67, have now returned home from the seven-day stay, but are still trying to report the incident, which happened last Wednesday <Wed, May 9>, to the Turkish authorities.

“We’re going to try to contact the embassy again,” said Diane. “Our main worry is that something like this could happen again. I couldn’t live with myself if it did and we did nothing about it.

“We’ve no idea why they targeted Cameron.

“He’s 12, but looks a lot younger. We don’t know what their motive might have been.”

Bosses at travel firm Thomas Cook, where the family booked the holiday, said every effort was made to support the family.

A spokeswoman said: “We were very concerned when the Charlton’s reported this distressing experience to us, and both our resort team and the hotel offered the family every assistance possible and their full support.”

Bodrum Police were unavailable for comment.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho