Unlike many other memorial bench name plaques, Adam Krzyszpin’s is there not to remember his death, but to commemorate the last place he was seen.
Born on December 22 1987 in Bojanów near Rawicz, Poland, the 22-year-old went missing near the location of the Greyhope Road bench on January 10 2010.
Believed to have been fishing on “red rocks” near Altens, Adam has never been seen since.
Growing up in Poland
His mum, Elżbieta Krzyszpin, described him as a good boy, well brought up, who loved to play pranks when he was younger.
He was also exceptionally bright, with an aptitude for learning, which stood him in good stead for a move to Scotland.
Adam, who was tall with fair hair, moved to Scotland in June 2009. His girlfriend of five years, Natalia, had family in Aberdeen so they came to the Granite City to work and save with a plan to return home one day.
Building a life in Scotland
Adam found a job with Macintosh – a factory in Portlethen – and had just been promoted. On Christmas day 2009 he took out a ring he had chosen just weeks before, with the help of his mum, and he asked Natalia to marry him.
She said yes and the pair began planning their future together.
Just 16 days later Adam would go fishing and would never return.
As the years rolled by no information or clues came forward. Life had to return to some kind of normality for Adam’s nearest and dearest. The assumption was that his body was swept away by waves. The spot he chose to fish from was precarious and the weather was treacherous.
Not knowing for sure is difficult for all of his loved ones.
“In one sense I can’t move on… but in the other I have other children, I have a life here too,” said Elżbieta. “How can you live without part of you… but I have to.”
With no grave to visit, Natalia suggested a plaque be added to a memorial bench they both liked to visit, near to the spot where Adam was last seen.
And so around four years ago she attached a lasting reminder of Adam to the popular bench.
“Adam was a lovely boy. He never smoked, avoided alcohol, didn’t keep bad company. His dream was to earn money to build a house back here. But every year that passes that hope gets smaller and smaller.
“I hate to say that I think he has died… there’s still hope in my heart to see him again.”