Missing: Pat and Angelika 2006-09-28Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Glasgow, Intolerance.
He first appeared at the doors of ‘St.Patrick’s Church’ in Glasgow barely two months ago. He gave no details of his past and seemed to have no home, but was welcomed by the priest without question and soon started doing odd jobs around the chapel.
Now the mysterious handyman is at the centre of a major inquiry into the disappearance of the 23-year-old Polish student he called his ‘little apprentice’.
Police are desperate for Mr.Pat. Mclaughlin to come forward as the search for Ms.Angelika Kluk, who has not been seen since Sunday, becomes increasing urgent.
They know Mr.McLaughlin, 58, spoke to Ms .Kluk on Sunday afternoon before she went missing. Though they were not known to be close friends, she had been helping Mr.Mclaughlin throughout the weekend.
Shortly after the hard-working student was reported missing, police questioned the handyman, but have been unable to trace him since.
Fr.Gerry Nugent, the priest of the Anderston church, yesterday described the last time he saw Ms.Kluk, a devout Christian, who had told him she felt at home in the church accommodation where she has been staying during her summer in Scotland. Fr.Nugent said:
‘Around 14:30 she was in the garage, making a hut and they [Ms Kluk and Mr McLaughlin] were in the final stages of painting. Angelika was the type of person who liked to work in the garden and I can imagine that if the garage door was open and she was passing by, she might ask, “What are you doing, Pat?” and I’m sure she’d ask if he wanted a hand.’
The church, which is surrounded by towerblocks and motorways, is a place of sanctuary offering more than just spiritual comfort.
Operating an ‘open-door’ policy, Fr.Nugent gives shelter and refuge to the needy no matter who they are. He also runs various support groups, and it was through such a one that Mr.Mclaughlin came to be known to the church.
He attended the ‘Loaves and Fishes Group’, which provides food and fellowship for the homeless, and had offered to paint a room in Chapel House.
Mr.Mclaughlin had quickly shown he was adept at carpentry and electrical repairs, and so became a regular fixture around the place, though he never asked for payment in return.
Fr.Nugent knew virtually nothing of the new arrival’s past. The priest says he had a feeling Mr.Mclaughlin ‘had a story to tell’. The man had chosen to come to the homelessness group to ‘try to improve the quality of his life’.
Even with his apparent homelessness, people had commented on how Mr.Mclaughlin had maintained his appearance.
He was interviewed by the police at the church on Monday night at about 23:30 during the initial search for Ms.Kluk in the grounds, after she was reported missing.
According to Fr Nugent, when he asked the man how Ms Kluk had been the day before, he said that his ‘little apprentice’, had been ‘great’.
He had also stayed willingly to answer police questions when asked to by the priest.
However, Mr.Mclaughlin failed to appear for work the next day, and attempts to contact him on his mobile phone by Fr.Nugent have proved fruitless. The priest says he fears for the safety of the man, voicing concerns that he had a heart condition and the stress of the situation may have exacerbated it.
Ms.Kluk had first become known to the church last year as a parishioner. She came to live at the Chapel House after losing her tenancy at a local flat and Fr.Nugent offered her accommodation.
She returned there for a second stay in 2006-07. Fr.Nugent described Ms.Kluk as being ‘full of life’.
‘She got involved in this community in an amazing way. She was full of life, a serious student, loved Scotland, wanted to learn, wanted to grow; life was a great challenge for her,’ he said.
‘… Took part in everything and she said to me once, “You know, Father, this is like home for me”.’
‘I would think that people admired her because she was taking life on and meeting it with great gusto and charm.’
However, he admitted hope was fading for her safe return:
‘As each day goes on, we’re praying very much for her.’
Detectives issue photograph of handyman as early leads prove unfruitful:
Police also revealed they had traced another potential witness — a man whom she accompanied to a golf range in the Bishopbriggs area last Saturday. The man came forward yesterday but was unable to advance the inquiry.
Detectives had earlier said the man was called George and was believed to be from Aberdeen. Yesterday it emerged that was not his name and officers would only say that he came from the east coast of Scotland.
Ms.Kluk is described as 1.6 m (5 feet 3 inches tall), of slim build, with long fair hair and green eyes.
She was last seen wearing a pink vest top, black combat-style trousers and possibly boots.
She had been planning to return to Poland on 2006-10-02.
- ‘Where is the last man to have seen Angelika?‘, Craig Brown, The Scotsman, 2006-09-28
From Strathclyde Police Website:
Missing Woman – Anderston, Glasgow
Police at Anderston are appealing for the public’s help in tracing a 23-year-old woman who has been missing from her address in Glasgow since Sunday 24 September 2006.
She was last seen at around 2.00pm on Sunday 24 September 2006.
Angelika is described as 5’3″ in height, of slim build, with long fair hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink vest top, black combat-style trousers and possibly boots.
Despite extensive enquiries, police have so far failed to trace Angelika.
Chief Inspector Elaine Ferguson of Anderston Police Office is appealing for help in tracing Angelika. She said:
‘Angelika’s family and friends are becoming increasingly concerned for her safety and we are appealing for her to get in touch.
‘At some point on Saturday 23 September 2006, Angelika went to a golf range in the Bishopbriggs area with a man known as George who is believed to come from the Aberdeen area. I am looking for George to contact me as he may have some more information that would assist in our search for Angelika.
‘I would also appeal to anyone who may have seen Angelika, or who knows of her whereabouts to contact me at Anderston Police Office on 0141 532 3200.’
- Answers.com: Anderston
- Glasgow Churches.org: St. Patrick