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I'VE TOLD THE KIDS DADDY'S ON A HOLIDAY; MYSTERY: WIFE'S TORMENT AS CHEF VANISHES FROM RESTAURANT.

A CHEF mysteriously disappeared from his restaurant - in the middle of preparing lunch.

One minute Martin Kelly was chopping vegetables, making soup and baking bread. The next, he had vanished.

And his boss ands anxious wife and family have no idea where he went.

The 6ft 2in father of two turned up for work as usual at the Poldrait restaurant in Haddington, East Lothian, on Tuesday.

But when the owner walked in an hour later, he was confronted with a Marie Celeste-style scene with food prepared and on the stove - but no chef to be seen.

Mr Kelly's wife, Lesley, said: "His boss phoned me to see if he had popped home. But he wasn't here.

"He told me everything had been prepared for the lunch service and he thought Martin had run out of some ingredients but when he did not return he knew something was wrong and called me.

"I can't understand what happened. He's the most doting dad you've ever seen and everything was fine as far as I was aware.

"I've had to tell the children their dad has gone on a holiday. They're only two and four but my four-year-old daughter is smart and I think she knows something is not right. But I don't know how I can explain it to her if I can't explain it to myself."

Mr Kelly, 31, who has shoulder-length brown hair and a goatee beard, is originally from Ireland.

He and Lesley used to live in Fife but they moved to Garvald, East Lothian, last September when he got the job at the Poldrait.

Police checked with his family and friends but have drawn a blank.

His wife said: "I've gone through every scenario in my head and I just want him to phone to let me know he's okay. Whatever has happened, we need to know he's safe."

Detectives are mystified and say they are becoming concerned for Mr Kelly's safety.

They are checking a reported sighting of him on Wednesday standing behind the Albany Centre in Haddington.

Witnesses claim to have seen him there wearing a green fleece jacket and jeans and carrying a rucksack.
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Author:Martin, Stephen
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 5, 2000
Words:359
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