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'Help us find Vadym': friends search for Ukrainian who went missing in Barcelona over a month ago

36-year-old was supposed to take flight to Kyiv from El Prat but did not board plane

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14 October 2021 08:35 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Vadym Shcherbatiuk, who has lived in Barcelona for the past few years, was supposed to board a Ryanair flight from El Prat to Kyiv on September 3 for a quick trip to see his mother for her birthday.

"I'm on my way to Terminal 2," he texted his friend Andrei, who he was meant to meet up with that night, at around 1:30 pm.

But when he did not show up in Ukraine hours later, Andrei began to worry. After getting in touch with his family, as well as his friends back in the Catalan capital, he realized that nobody actually knew where Vadym was.

Two days later, on September 5, a missing person report was filed with the Mossos d'Esquadra police. Vadym is yet to be located almost six weeks after he was supposed to go visit his mother.

One thing the Mossos have been able to confirm, however, is that Vadym never went through airport security and therefore never got on the flight.

And while the police have suggested he could have disappeared of his own volition, Vadym's friends and family insist this is not the case: he loved Barcelona and enjoyed speaking Catalan, had a good job at Apple, was happy, and had even gone grocery shopping right before his departure – there was absolutely nothing, they say, that would indicate that he wanted to take up and leave, especially without letting anyone know.

"We know that he did not want to disappear," Vadym's friend James Fernando Machado da Silva told Catalan News on Thursday.

A number of Vadym's friends in Barcelona, unhappy with the course of the police investigation, have banded together to hire a lawyer and start a Change.org petition urging the Mossos to step up their efforts to find him.

"We've become frustrated," Machado da Silva said. "The police haven't looked into his phone records or gone over airport security footage – we don't even know if he made it to the airport at all."

CCTV footage from Poble-sec, the Barcelona neighborhood he was renting a room in, has not been examined either, and nobody has been interrogated over his disappearance.

"Vadym did not choose to go missing," Machado da Silva said. "There was nothing he could have wanted to run away from and he did not want to disappear." 

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  • Vadym Shcherbatiuk has been missing since September 3, 2021 (Courtesy of James Fernando Machado da Silva)

  • Vadym Shcherbatiuk has been missing since September 3, 2021 (Courtesy of James Fernando Machado da Silva)

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