A POSSIBLE breakthrough in the case of a missing Suffolk man has lifted hopes of the 22-year-old being found safe and well in Thailand.

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An online appeal to help locate Tom Armstrong, who failed to return home to Kelsale over Christmas, has prompted a wealth of response from supporters and travellers, including a reported sighting in central Bangkok.

Mr Armstrong was completing a dive master course on the island of Koh Tao and was due to fly home on January 8 but failed to board his flight and has not been in contact with his family.

His father, Kingsley Armstrong, has flown out to the country to try to find him, while his mother, Helen Armstrong-Bland gathers information from home and spreads the word on a Facebook page dedicated to the search. She said: “We’ve been able to set up a liason in Thailand and Kingsley has met with Interpol to discuss the situation.

“We have also had news of a sighting. It really sounds like Tom and we have passed on the information to the authorities.”

According to the report, in the early hours of last Saturday, a man matching Mr Armstrong’s description asked a group of three people which bus he needed to board for Ramkhamhaeng - a suburb of Bangkok rarely explored by tourists but home to the university.

The sighting comes almost three weeks after police revealed that money was withdrawn from his bank account in the city.

Mr Armstrong’s mother hopes the information may help lead to her son, who was last in contact with his family via email on January 6. She said: “Every day I feel the need to thanks everyone for their kindness and for taking the time to consider our situation. We’ve been manic, and without their help we would be floundering in the dark.”

Mr Armstrong is described as approximately 6ft 2in, of medium build with fair, slightly wavy medium length hair and sometimes has a short beard, which is more red than fair in colour.

If anyone has information that could help trace him, they are asked to contact Suffolk police on 101.

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