A major search is underway in Inverness as “concerns grow” for a missing 63-year-old man.
Police, mountaineers and coastguard teams have been combing the city for more than 24 hours in an effort to trace the missing man George Critch.
He was last seen in the Kinmylies area of the city around 1pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Today, emergency teams have returned to the Kinmylies area in search for the ‘vulnerable’ 63-year-old as concerns grow for his welfare.
The police helicopter has also taken to the skies to search from above, as police officers coastguard and mountain rescue teams continue to comb the area below.
Major emergency response
Speaking from an incident van, established at Dulnain Community Wood, Inspector Les Davidson said all efforts were being deployed to search for him.
He said: “We are growing increasingly concerned for George’s welfare and I am appealing to anyone who may have seen him or has any information on his whereabout to get in touch.
“A number of resources have been deployed in this area to try and find him.
“Local police officers, coastguard volunteers and mountain rescue teams are out searching along with the police helicopter, which was out last night.
“We had police dogs out last night and again this morning trying to find this male who has not been seen now for more than 24 hours.
“As time goes on we are becoming increasingly concerned for his safety and his welfare. We want to find him and make sure he is safe and gets some help.”
Reports of a missing man
Police were first notified of his disappearance of Wednesday evening, sparking a major response from emergency teams.
Mr Critch’s frantic relatives reached out to officers around tea time after he failed to return home.
A major search was launched by police, involving several local officers, accompanied by their dogs, and members from two mountain rescue teams and coastguard volunteers.
The police helicopter also took to the skies above the Kinmylies and Dochgarroch areas last night, searching “hard to see places” for Mr Critch.
Failing to provide any leads, emergency teams returned to the area today as efforts to trace the pensioner continues.
Members of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team have been out searching nearby woodland areas whilst officers comb nearby streets.
An incident van has also been established at the woodland area in an attempt to generate fresh leads from local residents.
Mr Critch is described as being 6ft tall, of medium build with white short hair and white stubble. He was last seen wearing a black tracksuit trousers, navy Scotland T-shirt, black jacket, black trainers and has glasses which he may or may not have been wearing.
Inspector Davidson said he was eager to find the gentleman before daylight ends.
He added: “We have covered a lot of ground. There was a lot of ground covered down at Dochgarroch and we’ve concentrated on some areas at the top of this hill today as well.
“That will continue until we loose daylight, but hopefully we will find that gentleman before we loose daylight.”
Appeal for information
Police are now appealing to local residents to review their dashcam footage or CCTV to try and pinpoint potential sightings and a possible route taken by Mr Critch.
Inspector Davidson added: “We are appealing for people with dashcam footage who were in the area from 1pm yesterday afternoon, any part of Lachlan Road or Great Glen Way, to review that and see if they see a male man matching the description we have provided.
“Also anyone living in these new developments that has ring doorbells should review the footage as they may have captured the gentleman walking past, giving us a line of travel.
“We also have the incident caravan which will be staffed if anyone has any information they are welcome to come up and tell us to hopefully help us find this gentleman quickly and safely.”