Missing British mother's disappearance has become 'deeper and darker'

Family of missing British mother, 52, who vanished in France a year ago carrying 6,000 euros say ‘the longer this has gone on, the deeper and darker her disappearance has become’ as French police investigate if she was murdered

  • Brother of missing Karen Milsom, 52, said ‘something had happened to his sister’
  • The mother-of-two disappeared from France family home in August 2019
  • Her husband Steve said she had outburst before storming out last year
  • He added she had texted their car was at a train station 25 miles away in Ruffec
  • Police are investigating and probing theories of new life, suicide or murder
  • Husband Mr Milsom said they had searched house and septic tank in hunt 

Family of a British mother who vanished in France a year ago said today ‘The longer this has gone on, the deeper and darker her disappearance has become.’

Police are currently investigating after Karen Milsom, 52, suddenly left the home she shared with electrician husband Steve in the Charente region with some clothes and £5,400 of Euros.

Her car was found three weeks later at nearby Ruffec station by him and their two grown-up children, with no trace of her.

Officers from the French police have searched the family home and septic tank but have still not found out what has happened. They are looking at three possible theories she could have started a new life, killed herself or been murdered.

Sources close to the investigation revealed there was ‘a considerable amount of funds’ in Mrs Milsom’s bank account, but has not made any withdrawals since.

Last night Mrs Milsom’s brother Jon Ward told MailOnline: ‘Something has happened to my sister.

‘The longer this has gone the deeper and darker her disappearance has become.

‘There are a lot of uneasy elements in this, we didn’t learn Karen was missing until more than two months later – this was from my dad.

‘We are aware that Karen had been unhappy about the state of her marriage for some time. She had told friends she was unhappy.’

Steve and Karen Milsom pictured in France just weeks before she vanished without a trace

Mother-of-two Karen Milsom, 52, left her home in the Charente region in August last year

The family car was found at Ruffec Station 25 miles away three weeks later after a tip-off

Mrs Milsom, who was born in Bristol, had been a carer for an elderly British women before she disappeared after they moved to France 15 years ago.

Mr Ward said: ‘I have such an emotional attachment to all this I don’t want to put two and two together and get 22

‘At the end of the day we hope and pray she is safe and well. If she sees this we just want to ask her “please Karen get in touch”.

‘We don’t care what she’s doing or what she’s up to we just need to know she is safe and well and then we will give her space.

‘If she doesn’t pick up the phone and say she’s safe then we will think and continue worry she is in trouble.

‘There has been no communication from her and there were no clues in the car when her husband and two sons recovered it from the train station.

Mrs Milsom and her family had moved to the Charente region 15 years ago to live

‘The boys think one day she will just come back and walk through the door when she’s ready.’

Her husband told the Guardian she suddenly left after an outburst and thought she would come back after she took their car, but said she texted him to say the vehicle was at nearby Ruffec station. It had a bag of men’s clothes inside.

He added: ‘She had been fishing for an argument. She was in one of her moods.

‘She said no one cared about her. She would fly off the handle and then a couple of hours later she would apologise.

‘I was gobsmacked when she left. She said she would be in contact as and when she wanted to.

‘Three weeks later, I got a text off her to say that the car was at Ruffec station. 

‘She left of her own accord. I really don’t know what could have happened. I don’t think she’d have taken her life. I had two phone calls from withheld numbers. I spoke to her and it was a strange conversation.’

Maybe she was craving a more exciting life. I’m hoping she’s going to show her face, but at the moment I’m in limbo.”

Mr Milsom said he reported her missing to the police three weeks later after it became clear she was not coming home. 

She vanished in August and the Gendarmerie has made appeals for witnesses as it investigated what has happened.

One of her friends Claire McDermott received a text from her in September last year and she believed she had been bored with her life in France.

Ms McDermott said: ‘She felt she had nothing to look forward to.’

The message said she would be back in December to explain, but she has not been seen again.

Another friend Sue Jones added: ‘She was a very bubbly person, very caring and empathetic.

‘But I knew she wasn’t very happy.’

She said that Milsom’s mother had killed herself when her daughter was a teenager.

She said: ‘I find it hard to believe that she would do that to her children.’

Milsom is one of more than 800 missing people on the files of the Lucie Blackman Trust.

It said in an appeal: ‘Karen has not been seen nor heard from since around 20th August 2019.

She has been living in France for 15 years and has kept in regular touch with her family.

‘Therefore this disappearance, from her home in Charente, France, is completely out of character and there are serious concerns for her.’

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