Distraught family organise huge search this weekend for missing Shaun Ritchie

The distraught family of a young man who has been missing for more than a year have teamed up with a psychic to carry out land searches this weekend.

Shaun Ritchie, 21, has not been seen since he vanished while on a night out with friends in woodland near a farm in the Strichen area of Aberdeenshire.

His mother Carol Roy watched him leave his house in Fraserburgh with a group of young men in a van last Halloween but he did not return home the following day.

The timeline and location of events in the lead up to Shaun Ritchie's disappearance
The timeline and location of events in the lead up to Shaun Ritchie’s disappearance

He was reported missing two days later and police launched an investigation which turned into one of the biggest search operations ever carried out in Scottish police history.

Items of clothing belonging to Shaun were recovered from an area of marshland near where he was last seen on the night he vanished but baffled police still do not know what happened to him.

His family have now been in contact with Luton medium Nikki Trott who will travel to the area to head up a search team this weekend. She said she wants to help bring closure to the family.

Nikki said: “Searchers will be meeting at Carol’s on Saturday morning and will be given maps of the area.

Previous search efforts have been unable to find Shaun
Previous search efforts have been unable to find Shaun

“Everyone will be wearing gloves during the search just in case they find anything. If anything is found, we are going to mark it and everyone will walk away from that area until the police turn up.

“We’re not there to move anything we’re just there to find some evidence so the police will search.

“It is going to be a long day and a cold day. We’re setting out to get to the site for 8:30am and we’re going to be there until it gets dark.

“A drone has gone up there today to map out the area.”

Nikki launched an appeal for members of the public to help search for Shaun on social media earlier this week.

She claims to have been shown pictures connecting the missing man to the area where he is buried through her medium work and wants to find his body.

She said his disappearance had been extremely hard for the family to cope with over the past year, particularly Carol who still has hopes he will be found alive.

Nikki said: “She is not sleeping or eating properly. It’s really hard for Nicole, Shaun’s sister because she’s come to terms with the fact that Shaun is dead.

“Carol has one minute but hasn’t the next and it’s because she hasn’t got closure – she hasn’t got his body to lay to rest.

“It’s really hard for her. As a mother to have that with your child it must be unbelievably difficult.

“How can you let a woman carry on suffering.

“You’ve got a family here that needs closure.”

Police recently renewed their appeal for help to track Shaun down on the first anniversary of his disappearance.

But Detective Chief Inspector Matt Mackay, who is leading the investigation, previously said there was no evidence to suggest criminality.

He said: “The investigation remains open.

“Shaun’s family have experienced a living nightmare since his disappearance and we all want to bring closure to the family.

“The inquiry remains live. We remain as committed as we have been since the start to try and find Shaun.”