TRIBUTES have been paid to the "strong" mum of missing man Kyle Vaughan who died on New Year's Day.

Mary Lucas died from an aggressive form of liver cancer and diabetes at the age of 55 - without finding out what happened to her only son.

Mr Vaughan went missing on December 30, 2012, at the age of 24 and never returned. 

His silver Peugeot 306 was found abandoned on the A467, between Risca and Crosskeys, following a suspected collision, but Mr Vaughan was nowhere to be found.

A police missing person inquiry was launched, and developed into a murder inquiry.

But to this day Mr Vaughan has never been found. And in October 2016, the family were presented with a presumption of death certificate by a High Court judge. 

Ms Lucas was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of 2016 and was given just six months to live, but according to family she was a "strong and stubborn" woman who was determined to carry on for longer to see if she could find out what happened to her son. 

Her sister, Katherine Beddis, said Ms Lucas wanted to carry on and requested a memorial for her son - which was held in May 2017 - before she "gave in" to her illness.

Ms Beddis described her sister as a woman who was always there for family and friends.

She also said and that even though Ms Lucas and her partner Alan Vaughan had been given the presumption of death certificate, they still had some hope their son was alive somewhere.

"I just find it difficult to think that she died without knowing what happened to Kyle," said Ms Beddis.

"I know there are people out there who knew what happened, there are mums out there who know as well. Even if it was anonymous they could have written to the police. Mary just wanted to know.

"I think she and Alan both had that little hope that he was still alive. They kept on to that hope."

The 56-year-old said that Ms Lucas moved down from Newbridge to Newport to live with her for some time before her death, and that Ms Lucas had made many friends.

Ms Beddis said: "She was up in Newbridge and was on her own and it was hard for her being up there not knowing what had happened and who had done it.

"She felt she couldn't speak to anyone there but when she moved here she got to know most people in Newport. She was a really friendly type of person."

The investigation into Kyle Vaughan's death is still open but after the memorial the family did not issue any more appeals.

"After the death certificate and memorial we just wanted to move on," said Ms Beddis. 

"We said we needed to carry on with our lives. It has been very difficult for us but we are a close knit family.

"The memorial did help Mary and Alan to relax a bit more and Mary went on holidays quite a bit before she died."

Ms Beddis and the rest of the family of Ms Lucas wished to give their thanks to everyone who has helped the appeal to find Mr Vaughan during the past five years.