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Howard Wise/JPI (2)

Ah, if wishes were horses, we would all be giddy-upping right about now.

As fears continue to grow about The Young and the Restless’ missing-in-action Mariah, a rumor has begun making the rounds that no less than also-missing-in-action Genoa City Chief of Police Paul Williams will be the hero who reunites Abby’s surrogate with girlfriend Tessa and her loved ones. A fan even tweeted Paul’s portrayer, Doug Davidson, saying “Is it true? Just read a ‘spoiler’ that you save Mariah? Please say you’re coming back.”

Alas, it only took the Emmy winner two words to reply, and those two words were not “You betcha.” Instead, Davidson wrote back, “Not true,” opening the floodgates for viewers to remind the show for the zillionth time how badly missed are the actor and the character he’d played since 1978.

“How I wish it was true that Paul was coming in to save the day,” wrote A (aka Mcstereo). “It’s so awkward that when a crime is committed. Paul can’t be referenced. If [Doug Davidson]/Paul was nothing, how come the fans are on here every day it seems to point out the lack of Paul on” the show?

Added Pamela Lee Moore: “All l can say if Paul Williams was on the case, it wouldn’t have taken [him] weeks to realize that Mariah had gone missing.”

As it is, Davidson had already kind of answered the question of a possible comeback in May, on the anniversary of his debut as Paul. When fans called for him to be rehired and returned to the frontburner posthaste, he told them that nope, it was “not going to happen.

“But,” he added, “it was fabulous” while it lasted.

While you sulk anew over Davidson’s continued absence from The Young and the Restless, console yourself with the below photo gallery, which revisits highlights of the MVP’s long and storied run on the soap.