The Missing People Choir moved viewers to tears as it made its debut on Britain’s Got Talent last weekend.
The heartwrenching ensemble of missing people’s relatives includes Denise Horvath-Allan, whose son Charles Horvath Allan went missing while backpacking in Canada in 1989 when she lived in Halifax. His disappearance left a family shattered as they fought tirelessly to uncover the mystery behind why and how he vanished. Charles was born in Canada, but grew up in Halifax. He first returned to Canada to finish his schooling, but came back to England for a few years and at 18 joined the Foreign Legion in France.
After a year, he moved back home to Sowerby where his mother lived with her husband Stuart Allan - joint managing director of the former Elsie Whiteley Clothing Company, Halifax. Charles then went back to Canada and there had been plans for him to meet with his mum to celebrate his 21st birthday, August 21, 1989, and her 40th, August 17, 1989. But the last Mrs Horvath-Allan heard from her son was a fax he sent on May 11, 1989. When she didn’t hear from him to confirm final arrangements, she reported him missing to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Kelowna detachment. She then flew to Vancouver the following year to search for Charles herself.
While there, Mrs Horvath-Allan found he had been staying at Tiny Town Campsite in Kelowna. She then discovered he had abandoned his belongings and when some of his clothing was found the following month, Mrs Horvath-Allan was told it was believed her son was dead.
On a second visit to Canada, she received anonymous notes which said Charles had been knocked out and killed on May 26 during a party at the campsite and his body was in ‘the lake by the bridge’. It was the first time she had heard of a party and during a search of the lake, Mrs Horvath-Allan received another note which said they were looking on the wrong side of the bridge. A body was found, but identification confirmed it was not Charles. The last time he was seen was at 11pm on May 26, 1989.
It’s hoped the choir, which sang a rendition of I Miss You, a song penned by Peter Bozell, whose son Lee went missing nearly 30 years ago, will storm to victory and the £250,000 prize money be used to reunite families through the Missing People charity.