The mother of missing teenager Liam Smith has thanked the public for their assistance in the search for her son as her family prepares for Christmas without him.
It is now five weeks since the 16-year-old was reported missing from his home on Queen’s Road in Aberdeen.
The last confirmed sighting was on November 17, when Liam was spotted on CCTV boarding a 202 Stagecoach bus towards Deeside, where he purchased a ticket for Raemoir Road in Banchory.
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Although CCTV was not functioning on board the bus, a passenger reported seeing Liam getting off in the Crathes area, where police have focused their search ever since.
Liam’s mother Alix Smith said: “It has now been five weeks since we last saw Liam and the prospect of Christmas without him is really difficult for us to face.
“We understand the public’s interest and we really do appreciate the support everyone has given by sharing the posts and putting up posters.
“Police officers have been out searching the areas that Liam was last seen every single day since we reported him missing and we are truly grateful for everyone’s perseverance in trying to locate him.
“We continue to hope that Liam will be found.”
Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said officers were continuing to carry out searches for liam.
“We have had an overwhelming response to our appeals and more than 200 sightings have been reported.
“Every piece of information has been followed up, but despite extensive inquiries and intensive searches carried out, Liam is still missing
“Our inquiries still suggest he would have travelled to the Crathes area.”
Ch Inspector Mackay added: “Intensive searches remain ongoing and will continue, with the exception of Christmas Day.
“We know that many people have offered to assist with searches – however, we carry out these operations in a highly specialised, methodical way with officers who are trained and experienced.
“We have a plan in place to ensure that all the challenging land we need to cover is searched effectively with the use of the required specialist resources.”
Anyone with information about Liam is urged to phone the police on 101.