Where is Ian Turner?

Source Title:
Where is Ian Turner
Story Text:

UPDATE For press, bloggers and other media aswell there is a FACTS PAGE now up, that will be updated as information is received.

Ian has been missing since Sunday. He was due to fly back from New Orleans (wmw show) and has not been seen since. His wife and family are all very worried about him, and so are we.

If you've seen Ian, or have any information about him that might be useful (anything at all, at this stage) please contact Ali Turner (ali.turner (at) hot-smoke (dot) com) or DC Cole at Woking Missing Persons unit +44 (0)1483 655081 or email him cole10437 (at) surrey.pnn.police.uk - please do not contact the US authorities - Ali has asked that all information goes through UK for the time being.

The american and english police are working together to find out where he is, and we'd all really appreciate any help you might be able to give. If you were at the wmw show, and saw Ian on Sunday, please tell us!

NB: Post was rewritten, so i changed the author to myself. Thanks for bringing the subject up MrMackin, and thanks for all the relevant phone numbers DigitalGhost.


don't know

don't know

Ian Is Missing

And has been missing since Sunday afternoon. If you have any information regarding Ian Turner, please contact the New Orleans or Atlanta police department.

New Orleans P.D. - (504) 821-2222

Atlanta P.D. - (404) 730-5700 (Fulton County)

Atlanta Missing Persons - 404-853-4235

Or contact Ali, his wife via Sticky Mail at WMW

Any Pubcon attendees with any information regarding Ian Turner, please contact the proper authorities.

Thank you.

For real?

I thought Ian was Canadian.

Who is Ian Turner

Here is a link with background on Ian. I was a bit surprised that this was not being broadcast prominantly at WMW !

Might be useful if someone could post a photo, to jog any memories.

Ian Turner is one of the partners at Romsey Associates, an internet consultancy and services company with a number of specialist fields covered by the 4 divisions – Romsey Web Design & Hosting (specialising in SQL Server), EyeNetWatch Biometric Security Products, UK SEO – Search Engine Marketing and Web Based Timesheet Solutions their clients include the MoD, Lockheed Martin and the DVLA. He also finds time in the day to moderate the UK search engine forum over at Webmasterworld.


I've added all the relevant details to the original post, and homepaged it. Thanks DG and MrMackin. I changed the author to myself, as im not sure MrMackin would appreciate having words put in his mouth, and he's not around to ask.

I was told by one person to put this on hold for now, as apparently the police want to avoid "mass hysteria" - as it's already out there, and commented upon, im not going to do that unless i hear from his wife that she'd like me to, so be aware that this thread may have to be removed temporarily.

Thanks all.

Update from Ali

Surrey police in the UK have told me to use any means at my disposal to get information on Ian's whereabouts.
It is NOT mass hysteria yet. We'll get that if the television media get involved and I have no intention of going that far if I can possibly avoid it.
I need to know if anyone saw him Sunday. If so what was he wearing? Did anyone share a taxi with him. Did he actually move from the Park Plaza to another hotel? (This means sighting him in the other one)
UK police have a distinct lack of information from Stateside at present. Foreign Office have not found any record of him in their embassies or being held but have an alert out.
His travel insurance has not been claimed on.

For those who can't remeber what he looks like :

Can I suggest

Ali puts a post at Ian's forum at WMW


and at WMW Community Centre


It would carry more weight from her than from one of us.

Added an image to the post,

Added an image to the post, sticky on the homepage.

Anything more we can do, just ask ali..

WMW posts

I can't post to WMW at present as I don't have access to Ian's login where I'm currently am.

I should really set up my own there but been a touch distracted :)

Will try to do so when I get back but need to finish this work first.

Cheers All

I've added a post to

I've added a post to searchengineblog.com, too. Let me know if you need anything changed or added, Ali.


Thanks for that.

I'll posting on WMW in about an hour. I'll have to update myself there and issue an update for the mods. I'll also set up a public post there if at all possible but Brett may stop me.


I did not see him but

There were massive delays out of New Orleans to Atlanta because of storms. That's probably not very helpful, but I heard a lot people complaining at the airport because they had been delayed for hours and not very hopeful about getting out of NO Sunday.

Forwarded Pic to New Orleans Club Owners

I remember seeing IAN at the conference- I am from Baton Rouge but my brother in law owns several clubs in the French Quarter I have forwarded this to him and asked for him to post it around to the other club owners


Thanks for that.
Fingers crossed that we find something out.

I have contated Webmasterradio.fm

Darin at Webmasterradio said he'd put together a public service announcement to get the word out. I wasn't at the conference, but I hope this in some way will help.


Brett on WMW has requested photographs from obriens Friday night. Does anyone have any that contain Ian?

Did anybody See who Ian was

Did anybody See who Ian was with at the Pubcon on friday... to me this is the last time anyone saw him.

If you spoke to him.

Anyone who spoke to Ian over the conf weekend may be able to help. Even the small piece of information you may have might be able to help. If you spoke with Ian on the sunday Ali realy needs to hear from you.

Also. If you saw Ian on the sunday please get in touch if you remember what he was wearing.

If I Can Help Ali


Mackin passed this on to me. I live right outside of NO. I don't know where things stand in official investigations here and what lines of communications you may have available to you locally here.

But if there is anything I can do locally along those lines to assist you, please let me know. Calling hospitals, etc. You can contact me @ afp (at) affiliatefairplay.com if there is anyway I can be of assistance. MrMackin can vouch for who I am.

My thoughts are with you and I hope this will sorted out for you soon.

>> Kellie-Ms B

Yer, I recognise the nick from ABW. Not surprised Mackin knows you....

Thanks for the offer

Laurie and I saw him at hotel on Friday Night and Sat Morning

Laurie and I spoke to him on Friday night at the hotel after the pubcon. It was about 11pm or after.

When we checked out on Saturday morning he was in the lobby of the hotel and I said bye to him. We then headed to the airport to get back to NY.

I am almost certain he was wearing the same shirt in the pic above on Friday night - not sure about Sat morning - sorry. I am colour blind anyway.

On Friday night he said he was going to do tourist stuff cos he hadn't been in America before.

Posted at HRF

Christine posted about this at the High Rankings Forum. Hope it helps. This is pretty scary. We're all wishing and praying for a safe return. Let us know of any updates and we'll be happy to post them in our thread also.

The way the community has

The way the community has rallied round on this has been amazing, thanks to all those posting this to their homepages!


Eurotrash can you confirm the hotel he was in please as reports place him going to another one.


He was at the Park Plaza. Laurie has just reminded me that we went for the Ribs at 9:30 in the hotel bar/pizza hut place and we spoke to him there. He was sitting at the bar on his own.

He was totally lucid - no different to any other times I spoke to him that week. I asked him when he was going home and I only remember him saying that he was going to do some tourist stuff - I seem to remember (but can't remember why) that he never had too much time to do the tourist stuff. I can't remember him mentioning Atlanta. I though he told me he came through Gatwick/Cincinnatti and I would have presumed he was heading out that way also.

On Sat morning when we were leaving I saw him in the lobby of the hotel between the reception and the Front doors where the taxi's pulled up. I just said bye and see you next time or something. Our flight to NY was at 10:50 so this must have been about 8:50 or slightly earlier.

Update from Police

Report from police that they have contacted obriens and passed on photograph of Ian in case he visited there after Friday.

Did Ian Get On the Plane

Do we know if Ian got on the plane in New Orleans and made it to Atlanta--and if he got on the plane in Atlanta or not?

I'm assuming that someone (or the Police) has checked with the airlines to see if he checked in and actually got on the plane?


No confirmed ID on plane as yet.

Thinking of you

I posted about Ian on my blog. I truly hope you hear good news soon.


This came in via email, i'll keep it anonymous as he obviously doesn't want to post in the thread but if you want the details Ali, send me your email to nick - threadwatch.org


I was at WMW in NO and my wife and I are going to check all of our
pictures and video to see if we have any of Ian.

It might be helpful to track down Jon King; I know he posts on
Webmasterword.com. I don't really know Jon; I met at the lunch table
during the conference. However, I noticed that he was taking lots of
pictures. Perhaps he might have some photos that can help determine what
Ian was wearing.

I have just left a message on Jon's voicemail

I have asked him to come into this thread.

Probably Already Been Done, but...

Does Ian regularly carry a cellphone. If it's from Europe and was being used in the US, the cellphone company can probably tell you where that phone was last receiving an active signal from - Atlanta, New Orleans, wherever - might help to narrow down the search or give a last known whereabouts.

I wish you the best in finding him.

I've posted two places...

...on my own site, which is of negligible use, and on my Multiply.com account, which will hopefully help spread the word (and photo) further past the webmaster community.


Assuming the cell phone he had worked in teh US...Unless you have GSM that works in the States (it is different from the GSM in Europe). It has to be a "world phone" to work everywhere.

Also worth checking...

Not like the police need help doing their jobs but someone might suggest all relevant security tapes from the New Orleans and Atlanta airports be reviewed. The French Quarter itself is also strewn with security caneras that should be taken into account. Again, this is something that the police are probably doing but someone reminding them may not hurt. Good luck.


SEW and Yahoo's blog are both now running the story - both high traffic, that'll get word out pretty good aswell..

We'll help get the word out

I've contacted the members of the SMA-NA working group and will also be putting up information on our website.

Additionally, I contacted Dana at SEMPO and she will be sending out an email blast to their members as well.

Ian's a member of our community. We take care of our own.


Credit cards?

Have you checked accounts for the last charges?

Jon's Email Id

Here is Jon King email id: jonking at packaginggraphics.net

Following up upon seeing Ian's SMA-NA alert

I came across this news...have put in an alert at Cre8asiteforums and blogged it in the Cre8asite Blog.

Ali, hang in there. There are a lot of angels here pulling for you and Ian.

Ali, I know you said you did

Ali, I know you said you did not want the TV media involved, but in the US sometimes using the media is the only way to get the local officals off their asses and doing their job.

If you change your mind about the news media, I would be happy to try to use a few contacts that I have in the media, if you aprove, just PM me.

Hang in there, we are all pulling for Ian.

I posted too

I posted a notice too on my blog.

My best to you, Ali, for the safe and fast return of Ian.

It's been three days; time to get the media involved?

A lot of high profile sites

A lot of high profile sites are now picking up on this story, I sure hope it helps. Media exposure might be a good idea, but I think that descision really lies with the authoroties, they may be for it, or may belive it will hinder them.

Media Coverage

I really need a decent update from the police and hopefully should get one in the morning. That will help to target precisely where we are looking.

The other thing with media coverage is that I don't want them camping on my doorstep and upsetting the children. The eldest is aware there is a problem but the youngest just thinks Daddy's on an extended holiday.

You see my dilemma. Too tired to think straight now. I'll get some sleep (I hope) and check back in the morning.

I posted as well

I posted to my site as well.

I hope this sorts out soon for you Ali.

Posted on SEW Forums

We've highlighted this on the SEW Forums as well as the blog.

Someone asked me if he attended the Atlanta event we held on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I can confirm that we did NOT see Ian there.

Ali, I can understand your problem with the media. I think others are suggesting we target the US & Atlanta media specifically.

If we were to use someone locally to help manage the media & be a spokesperson for you, we could attempt to keep your whereabouts private and avoid UK coverage if possible.

hoping for the best.

US TV coverage...

I agree coverage on US television stations in Atlanta and New Orleans would be a good idea at this point.

UK media coverage would be useless, from an investigative standpoint, and I totally understand you wouldn't want them hassling you at home... but to get his photo out in the local media in the area he was last seen & the Atlanta area could turn up some leads.

I just put an email in to

I just put an email in to Robert Scoble to try and get NO/Atlanta bloggers attention - I've no idea if he'll post, but if he does it may help...

Anyone wanna do Steve Rubel? - I don't think he'd take an email from me :)

I emailed him.

I emailed him.

Thanks GW, one more went off

Thanks GW, one more went off too...


Has anyone contacted John Battelle from BattelleMedia.com? I know he was keynoting at WMW NO, he'd probably be happy to highlight this issue. I believe it's jbat at battellemedia.com

You don't need the press.

In the U.S., when the press gets involved the Mayor gets involved and stands on the Police Chief's head to GET ACTION.

Go direct to the mayor !

Contact Mayor C. Ray Nagin

New Orleans City Hall
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
City Hall Operator: (504) 658-4015
[corrected phone#]

Conference Photographs

I took over 300 images at the Conference and scoured every one to no avail. I stood outside with Ian many times during the Conference and find it hard to believe he's not in a single photograph. I did not take any shots at O'Briens.


Steve Rubel will help

Got an email back from Steve Rubel. As soon as he gets to a hardwired connection he will 'absolutely' get to work on it with his connections in the south.

Feet On The Street

Fantastic community support. We need feet on the street though. Ali, God bless you and yours, it's time for the New Orleans and Atlanta media to get involved. "Ian Turner" is the #10 search right now on Technorati, but we need people outside of the SEO and WebmasterWorld to get involved. Flyers, talk, media, etc.

I'm a little over 4 hours from Atlanta. I can head there as soon as you say the word and we'll get flyers out and then we'll hit New Orleans. Time is precious. Anyone else near Atlanta? I can be reached at

or at 931.363.6057 24/7

Steve Rubel came through

Steve has a post on Micro Persuasion

Thanks Steve.

Airport Shuttle

Lots of people used the airport shuttle to get to and from the hotel. You had to call/make a reservation to use the service if he did they would have a record and driver might remeber him

I Checked My Pictures

I went through all of my pictures from the NO and I don't have a single one of Ian.

Posted On My Stupid Little Blog

Nobody reads my blog, but I've had a few drive-byes in the past. Ali, my prayers are with you.

put a notice on my site also.

I cant do much, but feel I need to do something.

Start a website

May I suggest a central blog/site is formed asap to try and consolidate all availabe information and efforts into one site. This will help if and when the media talks about Ian.

Can someone contact Matt Cutts

and ask him to get it on the Google blog and send some emails out - DaveN - Aaron?

Sent an Email.


US. National Media


I am very sorry about all this.

If you decide to go to the US media, The fast way with a lot of coverage might be:
On The Record with
Greta Van Susteren

It comes on every night across the country...and has a huge audiance. And I am quite sure they do a "missing person" segment every night.

I hope this helps.
Long Beach, Ca. USA


CNN are based in Atlanta. I have it on good authority that tips sent in to http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form11.html are read constantly.

I'm in Atlanta

If I can be of assistance, let me know.
I think we definitely need more info on the situation with the cell phone.
I has been very hot here in Atlanta.


if you mean if Ian has his, I believe Ali said he didn't have it with him

Saturday night

I'm pretty darn sure it was Saturday eve when I saw him on Canal street near the hotel. Ali, I sent a detailed sticky to Brett Tabke (with my contact info) as did another person from our group who has the same recollection. I'll PM you as well...

What about his luggage?

Did his luggage arrive at the Atlanta airport? If so, is it still there, or did it get claimed? And was his connecting flight supposed to depart soon after he landed, or was there a long time in between? I guess what I'm getting at, is that if there was a long stretch between landing and taking off again, maybe he wandered off to see Atlanta. If the connecting flight was due to leave pretty quickly, then he would have stuck around the airport.

WMW must have the list of attendees

Perhaps someone that knows BT could prevail upon him to email all attendees at the conference.

WMW must have a complete email list for their own marketing purposes, so it should be straightforward to email all who attended to try to get feedback from anyone who has missed the postings on the web in the last 24 hours.

I'm a little lost here ...

I see that Ali mentioned that Ian did not board a plane, but which plane was that -- the one from New Orleans to Atlanta, or the one from Atlanta to their home airport?

Where is his luggage?

Ali must be up by now, any

Ali must be up by now, any news overnight?

Posting on Mirago

Hi Ali

Put a note and link on the Mirago homepage www.mirago.co.uk with a link back to here. Should be live shortly.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we are all hoping for Ian's safe return.
If there is anything else we can do don't hesitate to drop me a line.



Update from UK police

Please could all information be forwarded to myself or DC Cole at Woking Missing Persons unit +44 (0)1483 655081 or email him cole10437 at surrey.pnn.police.uk.

Nick can you edit your post to reflect this as US police are being inundated and it's probably confusing the issue. All the others who have this posted could they modify theirs too.

Please do not contact US police. All enquiries and leads to go through UK contact now

As regards media coverage, it needs to co-ordinated. I have sticky mailed Equitymind at WMW to see if he can do this.

Thanks people

Just sent around to my american friends

Bunch of geeks outside of webmaster/seo circles to hopefully spread word a bit further.

Dodgy weather at airport

Did they run a bartering of tickets at New Orleans that day?

Is this a possibility?

Ok, info updated Ali

Ok, info updated Ali

Posted on Yahoo Search Blog too..

It's been posted on the Yahoo Search Blog as well.


Kindest regards.

New Orleans or Atlanta?

I've read all the comments here, but something is not clear. Did Ian miss his flight in New Orleans and is missing in New Orleans, or did he miss the connection in Atlanta and is missing in Atlanta?
My last sighting of Ian I believe was on Saturday afternoon in the French Quarter near Chartres and St. Louis streets. He was by himself and I think he was wearing khaki pants and a light colored shirt.
My thoughts and prayers to Ali and family. WFN

New Orleans

At this moment in time there is NO evidence that Ian made it to the airport...

If anyone lives In New orleans could they make a list of Hotels in the Chartres area..

The last time I spoke to Ian I think he Mentioned "Chartres" ... and moving to a hotel in that area



This is what we are trying to establish. All help gratefully received.

It's great to see such community spirit

I have posted a notice to my 3 blogs (2 outside the SEM/SEO world) and sent an email to a friend that attended WMW PubCon. Is TW still the best place to point links for centralized news and updates?

My thoughts and prayers are with Ali and her family.

I think it is great to see such community spirit in an often divided community! ;-)

Keeping up to date

This thread and the mods only thread over at WMW are the only places that I am posting.

I'm trying to keep these informed. Any other threads are being run by others and updates will be posted back to here and WMW by those running them.

did what I could...

I just pinged Matt Cutts and Robert Scoble, hopefully they'll post something soon.

New Search suggestion

Just had an idea from a friend of contacting ex pats in New Orleans.


Ali, If you don't want your youngest to find out what's going on, it's probably best not to get the us media involved,
a) because the uk media will find out and
b) because CNN is displayed on digital and satellite television in the uk.

However, I would advise that you do get the media involved. It's a shame, because they're mostly idiots, but it is an extremely powerful industry.

I hope this all works out. I live in the UK, so i'm afraid there's nothing i can think of to help, but if there is, let me know.


Ali, in the next couple of hours, i will set up a dedicated page - with a view to pointing media to, and bloggers, anyone wanting information - it will be seperate to this conversation, and not for comment - just a facts page collating all the information we've gathered here and elsewhere.

If you don't want me too, say so now - im just cooking lunch so i'll get too it shortly. Danny Sullivan suggested we do it, and i think it's a good idea no?

the papers need a firm hand :)

I had thought that, especially as we're into silly season with the UK media, but on balance I think the media are probably good at this point and local press can be sensitive if they're told with enough force that the children aren't aware of the situation.

So N.O. police, clubs, pubs, ex-pats and hotels have all been alerted? Where else might Ian naturally go (theatres? cinema? specific types of restaurants? to see live bands?), is there an association of small hotels or anything the police may not have contacted yet?

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