The mother of a missing vulnerable man has pleaded with him to make contact and for people to help bring him home safe.
Gary Hughes, who has not had his epilepsy medicine since Monday and has learning difficulties, was last seen at 4pm on Tuesday, when he told his sister Nicola he was heading for Hebburn Central’s swimming pool after dropping off milk at her home in the Lukes Lane Estate in the town.
There have been a number of reported sightings of the 48-year-old, who lives in the West Park area of South Shields, in the time after he bid good bye to his family, but his loved ones hope people will answer their call for help and contact Northumbria Police if they see him.
While they wait for news Nicola, mum Julie, dad Richard and his brother Richard, who he lives with alongside Shih Tzu Lexie, and his other sister Marie, are helping to spread the word in the hope someone will help them reunite with Gary.
His loved ones, friends and strangers who have heard about the police appeal to find him have been carrying out searches, while his mother fears he could have been injured in an incident or attack.
Julie said Gary is a familiar face to people around Hebburn, as well as South Shields, and visits the gym and pool at Hebburn Central regularly, although his family have established he hasn’t been swimming when he said that’s where he was going.
We want to thank everyone who has helped, dog walkers, everyone who has helped look for him.Julie Hughes
They are trying to find out if he caught a bus or Metro using his travel card and often uses the train system and the 27 service from Dean Road to reach his sister’s home.
Julie said: “This is completely out of character for him and we have got no idea where he is.
“He’s got his routine.
“What I am concerned about is if he hasn’t had access to water and he might be dehydrated by now, and he’s not had his epilepsy medicine since Monday night.
“If anyone sees him, please ring the police on 101 immediately and tell them where they have seen him and what he’s wearing, just please tell the police.
“We know he goes to the gym, but he would get his head down.
“If he sees this, we just want to get through to him that he’s not in any trouble for stopping out, we know he hasn’t been swimming and he’s not in trouble for that, we just want him to come home and the dog is missing him.
“We just want him back.
“Everybody is upset, everybody wants him to come home.
“If anyone has attacked Gary, tell the police even if it’s anonymously where he was.
“We know he hasn’t been admitted to any hospital, so he hasn’t been found.
“We want to thank everyone who has helped, dog walkers, everyone who has helped look for him.”
Northumbria Police has said its officers are “growing increasingly concerned” for Gary’s welfare and have described him as vulnerable.
He is white, 5ft 9in, of muscular build with black shaven hair.
He was last seen wearing a black Adidas t-shirt with jeans or navy blue tracksuit bottoms and he was carrying a bag containing a towel and swimming shorts.
Gary, or anyone who knows his whereabouts, is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 1158 230419.