The mother of a boy who vanished while on holiday with his father eight months ago has made an emotional plea for his safe return on his 14th birthday.
Rebecca Jones, 35, has begged ex-partner Andrew Pearson, 33, to bring their son Jayden Pearson home and end her "living nightmare".
Jayden has not been heard from since he went on holiday to Portugal with his Andrew, a plasterer, last September.
The pair went on a 10-day break to the Algarve, but when Rebecca sent a taxi to pick Jayden up from the airport he was nowhere to be seen.
The mum-of-two fears she will never see her son again after her ex-partner blocked her number and left her in the dark about the schoolboy’s whereabouts.
She says that when she reported her son missing and flew to Portugal to search for him, Andrew sent her sinister texts before completely cutting her off.
On Thursday, she said it would be the "greatest gift ever" to have her son back home with her in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She said: “It would be the best gift ever to see his face again. Just let this living nightmare end.
“If you see this, Jayden, I wish you a happy birthday. I love you so much.
“It’s heartbreaking to be in this situation. I don’t know if I’m ever going to see him again. We should be celebrating together.
“He’s got a sack full of birthday cards. He can open them when he’s back home. His little brother Mathew has even bought him a bracelet that says ‘brother’."
She begged Pearson: “Put him on a plane and send him home. We will be waiting for him on the other end ready to hold him and not let him go.
“Think about these boys – they deserve to be together. I just want to be a mum to Jayden.”
Jones said Pearson asked to take Jayden to the city of Lagos, on Portugal’s southern tip, in September last year.
She had retained custody of Jayden and his brother, Mathew, 11, since her relationship with Pearson ended in 2019.
The NHS healthcare assistant said the pair were booked on a 6.45pm flight home and due to arrive at East Midlands Airport on 14 September last year at 10pm.
She had a taxi waiting for them at the arrival gate, but was left frantic when they failed to show up, before realising Andrew had blocked her number on his phone.
She said: “At first I kept trying to call him, kept trying to text him. I thought something had happened. I thought he might have had an accident.
"And then he blocked me, and blocked all my family.”
“It was just a holiday. When he didn’t return I was numb, I was worried, I was scared and I was heartbroken.”
Jones reported both father and son missing on 22 September last year.
She has since shared appeals for Jayden's return on social media in the hope that someone will see his face and identify his whereabouts.
But after Pearson was sighted and photographed at a farm resort in the Nazaré region of Portugal, 250 miles from Lagos, she has received messages from him saying his life had been ruined.
They read: “If we successfully make it to Bulgaria I will make contact then.”
Jones flew out to Portugal in January this year and reported the pair as missing to local authorities.
She said Portuguese police had searched the farm resort where her ex-partner had been seen, but had heard nothing.
Jones believes the trip was planned not as a holiday but to keep Jayden permanently.
She said: “It was meant to be a 10-day holiday.
"At the time, I didn’t suspect anything. But now I feel like he planned it all along.”
Jones has today organised a birthday party for Jayden in his absence with his family in the same way they celebrate every year.
But she remains concerned for her son’s health and well-being.
She said: “I don’t believe that Jayden's needs are being met. He is not at school. He’s going into year ten in September. He needs to be sitting his GCSEs.
“I feel every day is long and hard. Every day we are waking up to this living nightmare that’s not going to end any time soon.”
A spokesperson from South Yorkshire Police told Yahoo News: “We understand how distressing this is for the family and have been in frequent contact with them. We continue to support the investigation and work with the relevant authorities to help with their enquiries.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told Yahoo News UK that the government was "supporting the parent of a British child reported missing in Portugal".