Dad and son who vanished in Scottish Highlands ending in tragedy were 'experienced walkers'

'Experienced hikers' Tom and Richie Parry had been hiking around Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands when they disappeared
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

A father and his 12-year-old son who tragically died during a hiking trip in the Scottish Highlands were described by rescuers as 'experienced walkers'. Tom Parry, 49, and his young son Richie were on a three-day excursion to Glencoe and Glen Nevis when they went missing.

The alarm was raised when they failed to return home to Alsager on the planned date. After an extensive search, Scottish police announced on Wednesday evening that two bodies had been discovered. While formal identification has not yet taken place, the family has been notified.

Mountain rescue services noted that despite their experience, the weather conditions were challenging at the time Tom and Richie set out. Police located Mr Parry's vehicle at the Three Sisters car park in Glencoe, reports the Mirror.

READ: Mum 'heartbroken' as missing son and husband tragically found dead in Glencoe Two bodies have been found in the search for Tom Parry, 49, and his son Richie, 12, from Alsager, who were reported missing

Tom was reportedly working as a specialist business researcher, while Richie had recently become involved with his local junior football team AFC Alsager.

In a statement, Mr Parry’s workplace, The Senate Group said: “All of us at Senate are devastated to hear that our much loved team member, Tom, has died tragically in the Scottish Highlands along with his young son.

“We would like to thank everyone for their wonderful messages of kindness and support today. We are extremely grateful also for the skills and commitment of the emergency/rescue services in Scotland.

“We are all heartbroken – we have lost a highly valued employee and friend, who will be greatly missed by each one of us, but never forgotten.”

Dad Tom Parry, 46, was due to return home to Cheshire on Wednesday

St Mary’s Church in Alsager also paid tribute to the pair following the “devastating” news. The church said: “Hearing the tragic news this morning regarding the heart breaking deaths of Tom and Richie Parry. We at St. Mary’s offer our sincerest condolences and prayers to all their family, friends, and neighbours, and for all who are now coming to terms with this shocking and devastating news.

“St Mary’s Church will continue to be open, as it is everyday, for anyone who wishes to come in and peacefully hold Tom, Richie, and all their family, in their thoughts and prayers.

“And we pray that in your gracious and loving mercy Lord, Tom and Richie may rest in peace, and rise in glory, and that all their loved ones, and all who grieve, will know your comfort and strength at this truly difficult time. In your holy name we pray. Amen.”

The region has been battered by storms and heavy rainfall this week, prompting the Met Office to issue a yellow 'be aware' warning for thunderstorms on Monday. St Mary Magdalene, their local church, announced it had opened its doors to anyone "who wishes to come in and peacefully hold Tom, Richie, and all their family, in their thoughts and prayers."

As the heartbreaking news spread, many took to social media to express their condolences. Bart Seaton-Said, who identified himself as a close friend of Mr Parry, revealed they had attended school together in Ipswich.

He shared: "Tom was in so many ways a heroic soul. He was loyal and sensitive to others and faced obstacles with fortitude. This world is the less for his passing. He added: " He continued: "At Ipswich School we became close companions and have remained in touch. I was to be best man at Tom and Gemma's wedding but had been sent to Brisbane by the Society of St Francis just before Tom requested this so was unavailable to tell tales of our misspent youth, on that occasion."

"Tom and I spent many hours behind several pints of English ale at the Moon and Mushroom Pub in Swilland. This very particular Suffolk pub is the closest in my mind to Tolkein's Prancing Pony as ever there was. Tom and Gemma and two children graciously joined my 40th birthday lunch there ten years ago."

A fellow hiker who spotted the duo at Ben Nevis's peak on Monday recalled their sense of accomplishment. In her words, "Me and my family met them when we walked up Ben Nevis. They were so proud they made it to the top. Heartbreaking news, thoughts and prayers are with family and friends."

A police report will be forwarded to the Procurator Fiscal soon, as confirmed by Inspector Craig Johnstone who expressed condolences from the force: "Our thoughts are with all those involved. I would like to thank all emergency services and Mountain Rescue volunteers."

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