In the two weeks since we first brought you the heartbreaking story of a Cortland mother whose son disappeared in Vienna, Austria, we've been swamped with e-mails and phone calls. There is incredible interest in what happened to Aeryn Gilleran, and the encouraging response has meant the world to his mother, Kathy.
Gilleran's mind plays on a continual loop from October 31st, the day she received a phone call from her son's co-worker. Aeryn had disappeared. The 34 year-old worked for the United Nations in Vienna. Since he vanished, she's done everything in her power to find out what happened to her son, but with little help from Austrian police, hope is running out. "I want to be hopeful but I'm scared to be hopeful because I'm scared that as much as it hurts right now, that if I got my hopes up, that it would be a million times worse," said Gilleran.
The Austrian media has only made a painful situation more difficult. Since we first brought you the story, it's been picked up by an Austrian newspaper which painted this mother as a despairing housewife who's suing the police, and the paper said Aeryn was a mentally unstable gay man who committed suicide. Kathy Gilleran leaves a candle in the window, a symbolic light in the dark for Aeryn to find his way home. Until that day, it's a comfort to know she's not alone. "In knowing that perfect strangers are there, that just perfect strangers are out there, that's huge. That's really huge," said Gilleran.
For video of last night's story, click here.