A SCOTS grandmother-of-eight has vanished in Mexico – just 12 hours after landing at the dream holiday destination.
Julia Howard, 77, from Edinburgh, was on holiday with her son and daughter when she disappeared after going to fetch a sun hat from her hotel room.
The widow had jetted into the luxury Cancun resort with her family for a two week break on Monday night.
But, Julia – who cannot walk long distances – disappeared on the Tuesday morning from the secluded Moon Palace complex.
Her frantic family has described their ordeal as “a nightmare” and has been seen scouring the area in an attempt to trace the missing pensioner.
Son Henry Harvey, 56, who travelled to Mexico with his mother, said: “We are absolutely frantic with worry. My mum told us she was going to get her hat and just vanished.
“We had only been at the resort for one night and had gone down for breakfast the next morning.
“My mum said she wanted to go to her room to get her hat and then she wanted to go for a walk. A couple of hours later there was no sign of her. We went to the room to check and she had not been back to the room.
“Her hat was still there and she hasn’t been back since. We have been looking for my mum and searching everywhere.”
The widow, whose husband Ted passed away 10 years ago, is a frequent visitor to the resort and is said to know the complex well.
She was on holiday with son Henry, his wife Glynnis, 55, and her daughter Julia Brock, 50.
Family ordeal is ‘a nightmare’
Henry added: “The British Consul and Embassy are involved and we have also contacted the police back home.
“At first we were told the police couldn’t do anything for 24 hours but we insisted something be done.”
And yesterday, Julia’s grand-daughter Gill Greaves described the family’s ordeal as “a nightmare”.
Gill, 33, from Kirknewton, West Lothian, said: “I am at a loss as to how I can help my family over there when I am back here.
“It’s a nightmare. My parents are frantic.
“I searched on the internet for all the relevant details for the British Embassy and Consul and passed them on to my dad.
“There has been a big search going on. It’s a secure complex and for my gran to leave it someone would have to know as you need to show an ID band.
“My parents are devastated. They have searched everywhere for her and just want to find her and know that she’s safe and well.”
Last night a Foreign Office spokesman confirmed they had received a report that the grandmother had gone missing.
He added: “We are aware of the situation and have been in contact with the family to offer all consular assistance.”