Divers search for clues to missing man

POLICE divers have been brought in to search the River Chelmer as the hunt for a missing Essex man has been stepped up.Nelson Fonkemun, 23, from Chelmsford, who has been described as a “fantastic citizen”, has not been seen or heard from since the early hours of New Year's Day morning.

POLICE divers have been brought in to search the River Chelmer as the hunt for a missing Essex man has been stepped up.

Nelson Fonkemun, 23, from Chelmsford, who has been described as a “fantastic citizen”, has not been seen or heard from since the early hours of New Year's Day morning.

Supt Tim Stokes, of Essex Police's central division, said police were searching the town's river for clues yesterday morning and also checking surveillance footage from across the town.

He said: “We have around 60 officers working on the search and analysing CCTV footage is a massive job.”

Mr Fonkemun's continued disappearance has raised concerns that he may have suffered an accident as he followed the river towards the Army and Navy roundabout.

Mr Fonkemun, also known as Nelson Nubila, had been out drinking with friends at Dukes nightclub in Chelmsford on New Year's Eve and CCTV pictures show him leaving at 2.30am on New Year's Day.

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Supt Stokes said: “The natural route home from town is along the river and it was very rare for Nelson to use taxis and buses.”

He lives in Baddow Road, Chelmsford, in rented accommodation and police have said they are not certain whether Nelson ever returned home.

Supt Stokes added: “He lives in a bed-sit with other people, but doesn't share a room.

“The other computers are networked together from his room so it is difficult to know what has happened in there since the morning he disappeared, whether other people have been in or not.”

Mr Fonkemun's girlfriend alerted police after she did not hear from him.

He had sent a number of text messages from his mobile phone in the early hours of New Year's Day morning, including one to her. However, nothing has been seen or heard of him since those messages were sent.

Seen as a quiet and loveable man, Mr Fonkemun was optimistic about the year ahead, during which he was set to start an ACCA professional accountancy course in London.

Most of Mr Fonkemun's family still live in Cameroon, from where he moved four years ago, but he has one relative living in London.

Police are looking to hear from anyone who may have encountered Mr Fonkemun as he left the nightclub and made his way home. Anybody with any information is asked to contact Chelmsford police on 01245 491212.

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