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By Hugh Boag
A sad new search will be held at the weekend in the continuing hunt for missing pensioner John Smith.
A wide area across Machrie Moor will be painstakingly searched inch by inch in the hope of finally ending months of anguish for the family.
It is more than six months since the 77-year-old disappeared from his home in Machrie, but Police Scotland say they have not given up hope of finding him and are continuing to appeal for information.
Over two days, starting tomorrow (Sunday) the Arran Mountain Rescue Team will join the Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Team in another thorough search of the moor. While the rough and trecherous ground has been searched before with the help of the RAF and Coastguard helicopter as well as the public, the police still have hope for the latest search.
Mr Smith was last seen by a neighbour near to Machrie Golf Club around 6.10pm on Tuesday May 30. He was understood to have been heading in an easterly direction to meet a friend, however he never arrived. He is described as white, 5ft 4in, of slim build, with short grey hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. He was last seen wearing a dark coloured jacket, dark trousers, a woolly hat and brown hiking boots.
Chief Inspector Brian Shaw said: ‘Extensive enquiries and rigorous land searches have been carried out in order to trace John, however despite our efforts he is still missing.
‘Members of the Arran Mountain Rescue Team and Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Team will continue the search with equipment suitable for the terrain and do a shoulder to shoulder search of the area between the Machrie Moor Road, the String Road and the A841 on Sunday and Monday.
‘We remain committed to finding John and would urge the local community, who have been very supportive, to continue to assist us by passing on any information which could help our investigation.
‘Anyone with information is asked to contact officers at Lamlash/Irvine Police Station via 101 and quote incident number 4049 of Tuesday May 30, 2017.’
Missing John Smith. No_B49john01