Intense search of area surrounding NE pensioner's home launched

Published 23 January 2018

Specialist officers will be carrying out intense searches in and around the home of missing person William Ritchie as the operation to find him continues. 

The 90-year-old was reported missing from his home at West Road in Fraserburgh on Sunday January 14, 2018, by neighbours who were concerned they had not seen him for a couple of days.  

Mr Ritchie was known to walk in and around the town daily, and regularly shopped at the local Asda, Co-op and post office. A major search operation has been ongoing during the last week with assistance from the Police Scotland helicopter, dog and dive unit, with extensive house-to-house enquiries, reviewing CCTV and building a picture of the pensioner's daily routine.

The last verified sighting we have of Mr Ritchie is on CCTV at Asda, Fraserburgh, on December 21, 2017, however numerous people have been in touch since to say they think they saw him in the days leading up to him being reported missing.  

Further searches will continue today (Tuesday January 23, 2018) primarily in the Sandhaven Harbour area with assistance from the dive unit using kayaks. Assistance has also been provided to check the coastline by the local coastguard and RNLI. 

In addition, an intense search will be launched of built-up areas in the vicinity of Mr Ritchie's home. 

Inspector Kevin Goldie, who has been leading enquiries, said: "Mr Ritchie was known to regularly walk in and around the town, however given his age and mobility it is crucial that the immediate area surrounding his home is painstakingly searched. Searches in this area have already been carried out and we are extremely grateful for the members of the public who have also been checking their outbuildings, garages and sheds, however as more time passes we need to ensure that no stone has been left unturned. 

"If you live in the West Road area or surroundings streets you will inevitably see officers out searching. Please do not be alarmed and approach us if you have any concerns. Our ultimate aim continues to be finding Mr Ritchie and establishing exactly what has happened to him. He was well-known in the local community and I know that those who know Bill, or even just recognise him to say hello, want him to be found as much as we do." 

Mr Ritchie is described as being around 5ft 7, of a slim build, with short grey hair. At this time it is not known what he is wearing when he went missing, however he usually wears a 3/4 length black jacket or a waterproof jacket with the hood up, and a flat cap. He regularly shops at Asda, the local Co-op and attends at the post office at Mid Street. 

Anyone with information should contact Police on 101 quoting incident no. 2549 of Jan 14.    

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