Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Fresh appeal to find missing man

Michael Hunter
Mr Hunter is a keen walker and bird watcher

Police have issued a new appeal to find a hospital worker who "vanished" after failing to attend his mother's funeral nine weeks ago.

Michael Hunter, 53, a care assistant at Darlington Memorial Hospital, has not been seen since 24 January.

The keen walker has made no contact with his family and police searches have drawn a blank.

The mystery of his disappearance is now to be featured on a BBC documentary on missing people next month.

He has literally vanished - and it is only with the public's help that we will find him
Insp Steve Ball

Sightings of Mr Hunter, from Westmoreland Street, Darlington, have been reported at Bollihope Common in Weardale and Low Force, Teesdale.

A recent search of Drinkfield Pond and the marsh area on the outskirts of Darlington failed to bring any new leads in the inquiry.

Insp Steve Ball, of Durham Police, said: "The search for Mr Hunter has been detailed and wide-ranging.

"It has generated a number of sightings and each one has been followed up but, so far, to no avail.

"His disappearance is a mystery. He is a man who has literally vanished - and it is only with the public's help that we will find him."

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

He is married and has a 24-year-old son.




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