It is now two weeks since anyone has seen missing Aberdeen teenager Liam Smith.
Yesterday morning, emergency services rushed to the harbour area of the city after a member of the public reported seeing a body floating in the River Dee just after 8.30am.
But fears that it may be the missing teen were quickly dispelled when water search teams could only find floating storm debris including large logs and branches littering the waterway.
Today, police teams are continuing to focus on the Crathes Castle and Estate area as it is believed Liam alighted a bus there a fortnight ago on Saturday, November 17.
Estate staff with expert knowledge of the terrain have been helping the police in their search of the 530-acre site, which is covered in woodland and open fields.
It is understood that daily searches are taking place of the estate’s numerous buildings – with no sign of Liam being found in any of them so far.
Police dive teams searched the pond near the entrance to the property yesterday but there was no trace of the schoolboy.
Liam’s family have appealed for anyone who may have information on his whereabouts to come forward.
His mother, Alix Smith, has spent countless hours scouring the castle grounds with other family members this week and is “desperate” to find her son.
One estate worker said that they had searched the whole estate and suggested that Liam may have gone elsewhere.
The 16-year-old was caught on CCTV entering Union Square shopping centre at around 1pm on Saturday, November 17.
Shortly afterwards, he bought a bus ticket for Raemoir Road in Banchory and got on the 202 Stagecoach bound for Lumphanan.
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A passenger on the bus has said that Liam got off at Crathes where the bus would have made a stop at around 2pm and another witness stated they had spotted him on the Crathes Estate later that afternoon.
Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said the weather this week had hampered his teams, making their work more “challenging and difficult”.
He added: “Over the past two weeks, we have had assistance from every available resource at Police Scotland’s disposal including the search helicopter, dog unit, dive unit and specialist police search advisers (Polsa).
“As we enter more challenging terrain every day, we are now relying on a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to ensure dense wooded areas are properly checked.
“Many areas have also become flooded due to the wet weather, so we are also deploying dive units to assist.
“Two weeks is a long time for any family to be without their son and we continue to keep in contact with Liam’s family.
“Your comments and words of comfort are much appreciated by everyone involved. I would also like to thank the members of the public who have been leaving food and home-bakes for our officers who are searching out at Crathes – we have been shown incredible kindness by the local community.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 101.