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Search extended for Missing North Yorkshire man


11:50am 25th January 2012
(Updated 12:48pm 25th January 2012)

Police looking for missing Skipton man Matthew John Thornton have extended their search to other areas of the country.

Matthew, aged 45, of Petyt Grove, Skipton, was reported missing by a friend on Sunday 22 January 2012, however he had not been seen for over a week before that time.

Officers are concerned for Matthew’s welfare due to the length of time he has been missing and the fact that he is suffering from a long-standing illness.

Following an earlier media appeal, police received reports of a sighting of Matthew on Church Street, in Windermere, Cumbria, on Friday 13 January 2012. Officers are continuing to make extensive enquiries in and around Windermere in an effort to trace him and ensure he is safe and well.

It is believed that Matthew, who walks with a distinctive gait and has obvious physical tics as a result of his illness, has been getting around by train and police think that he may well visit the areas of Scotland around the Cumbrian border.

It is also thought that he may head to Merseyside, as he is a Liverpool supporter and could also head to Blackpool.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who has seen Matthew around or knows where he might be.

Inspector Craig Linton, of Skipton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Matthew has been missing for well over a week now and obviously we are concerned for his safety.

“It is out of character for him to be away from home for this length of time and his family and friends are clearly worried about him.

“There have been positive sightings of him in Cumbria, which is encouraging, and I would urge anyone who sees Matthew or knows where he is to contact the police as soon as possible.

“I would also like to appeal directly to Matthew and ask him to get in touch if he sees this appeal and let us know that he is ok.”

Matthew is described as being 5ft 10in tall, with a medium build, brown eyes and short dark brown hair. He is believed to be wearing a dark blue raincoat and blue jeans.

Anyone who can help police to locate Matthew is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Skipton police, quoting reference number 12120011501.

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