The wife of a computer engineer who disappeared on holiday in the French Alps three months ago has made a desperate plea for help to find him.
Father-of-two David Wood, 61, went out for a solo hike from the holiday home he shares with wife Valerie Armstrong on August 2 but hasn’t been seen since.
French police and search teams scoured the area in vain and his family used a drone to fly over the mountains.
But without a single sighting Valerie, an artist and painter, fears she will never see her husband of 33 years alive again.
She returned home to Woodbridge, Suffolk, last month, she said: “It is bitter-sweet being home, the house is just full of Dave. He’s here in every corner of it.
“But here I am covered in friends and cornered in love. I have very close friends and they are all there for me.
“It is wonderful to realise how loved David is. People feel lost without him.
“I feel I have been wrapped in a cloak of love, which is a beautiful thing.
“But I don’t think he is still alive. I want to hope that he is alive but If I hope then the pain is worse. I want to survive this.”
David was fit and healthy but had only recently discovered he had slightly elavated blood pressure.
Rather than take tablets, he decided to get fit and had been on walks everyday in the lead up to his disappearance.
On the day he went missing from their gite in Marie in the Tinnee Valley region, Valerie called him and realising he had been gone some time.
He said he was half an hour away but as time passed she called him again, when he said he was tired and having a rest.
She hasn’t spoken to him since, and now believes he was already lost at this time.
Valerie, 68, said: “In retrospect I have a feeling that he had already got lost.
“Later we discovered he had gone quite a long way along a mountain pass between Marie and Clans but we don’t know why he kept walking so far.”
A local couple who live nearby told Valerie that had seen Mr Wood walking in the opposite direction from home but when they spoke to him, he turned round and carried on.
“He seemed so confused,” she said. “That was the last time anyone saw him.”
While she fears the worst, Valerie is left clueless as to what has happened to David.
She said: “It goes round my mind like a broken record.
“We believe something may have happened in his head, he got some kind of amnesia or that he had a stroke which made him confused and charge off into the mountains.
“But it’s just unreal because there has been no sign of him. Nothing.
“It has now been nearby three months and we have no idea where he is.
“We’re desperate and we’ve got to know, however I’m fully aware it may not be the news we are looking for.
“I am prepared for the worst and just trying to find the strength to stay strong.”
The area, known for its sheer drops, rocky patches and rivers, has been searched extensively by family, friends, cops and mountain rescue crews – as well as a helicopter.
His sons Danny and Richard Armstrong-Wood, 30, and other family members had flown out from the UK straight away to help in the search.
Speaking at the time, Danny, 32, said: “We have been expanding the search further and further. Everything around the path where he went missing has been done and we’ve found nothing.
“We’ve gone further into the mountains, which really aren’t where we want him to be, but dad wouldn’t have gone there unless he’d sustained some sort of head injury because it doesn’t make any sense.
“Maybe he woke up confused, he could be anywhere. We haven’t got a clue. He’s just vanished.”
Valerie, who describes David as ‘eccentric and optimistic’ added: “He’s such a huge character, he’s an unforgettable man and very funny.
“He is incredibly bright and an amazing father. He was a larger than life person.
“Whenever I felt down he lifted me up. He is a really beautiful person, I’m missing him so much.”
David is described as having a full head of curly, white hair and was wearing a sturdy pair of walking boots, a bright orange cap, beige linen trousers, sun glasses and a brown t-shirt at the time he disappeared.
He was also using two walking poles to aid him.
A Facebook page has been set up to try and find David. Visit www.facebook.com/TrouveDavidWood