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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 08:10 GMT
Moorland search for missing man
Michael Hunter
Mr Hunter is a keen walker and bird watcher, say police
Rescue teams have stepped up the search for a hospital worker after a "positive sighting" in rural County Durham.

Michael Hunter, a health care assistant at Darlington Memorial Hospital, went missing on 24 January after failing to attend his mother's funeral.

The 53-year-old, of Westmoreland Street, is married with a son, aged 24.

Teesdale and Weardale Search and Rescue Team searched an area near Hamsterley Forest on Sunday, but no trace of Mr Hunter was found.

About 40 volunteers, including dog handlers, covered moorland and streams, assisted by personnel from the Northumberland and Swaledale team.

Mr Hunter, a keen walker and bird watcher, was last seen wearing a blue jumper, blue trousers and a faded black baseball cap with a kangaroo motif.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact Durham Police.

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