A land, river and air search for a missing footballer has been launched after his car was found abandoned in a glen 26 miles from where he was last seen.
It is understood the missing man’s girlfriend is in hospital with serious injuries, thought to be the result of a stabbing.
Police have been searching for Richard Finnis, from Inverness, since Saturday, after he failed to turn up for his team’s game in the Highland League.
Police reiterated that the 30-year-old, who plays for Strathspey Thistle, should not be approached.
Late on Monday night, police recovered a car believed to belong to Finnis, who has been missing from his home since lunchtime on Saturday.
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Police confirmed that on Tuesday, a full scale search, involving two teams of police officers, two police sniffer dogs and handlers along with the coastguard helicopter, were used during the day to search for the missing man.
Witnesses said the area in which the car was abandoned was on a quiet unlisted road near to the River Glass. They said the car was hidden from sight.
One man, who was in the area, said: “It is a strange place to leave a car. It was well hidden on a rough track.
“The police have been here all day. Two teams out searching with two sniffer dogs and their handlers.
“It is a good clear day with no rain – so the weather will not be impeding their search.”
Mr Finnis’ blue Citroen C3 registration SD18 WKE was found at around 9.30pm on Monday February 18. Police believe the vehicle may have been in the area over weekend.
Police are continuing to appeal for anyone who has seen Mr Finnis, or who saw his vehicle, in the Glen Affric area over the weekend to get in touch.
Mr Finnis was last seen at around 1.20pm on Saturday, February 16 on Kinmylies Way in Inverness.
He is described as being around 5ft 10in tall, of medium build, with dark coloured hair and blue coloured eyes.
When he was last seen he was wearing a sky blue tracksuit top, light blue jeans or tracksuit bottoms and a dark grey bobble hat.
At about 1pm in the same area of the city, a 30 year-old woman suffered injuries in an incident believed to be a stabbing.
Detective Sergeant Craig Still said: “We are continuing to ask people to be alert and report anything which could help us locate Richard. In particular we would ask anyone who was in the Cannich area of Glen Affric and saw him, or saw him walking on the A831 to contact us.
“We would like to thank members of the public who have assisted us so far.
“We continue to ask members of the public not to approach Richard but to contact police in the first instance.”
Mr Finnis had joined the North Caledonian League team Inverness Athletic on loan from his parent club in December. He was called back to the Strathspey fold towards the end of January.