Search on for vulnerable man

POLICE are today appealing for help in finding an 82-year-old man who went missing from his Shotley home yesterday.

POLICE are today appealing for help in finding an 82-year-old man who went missing from his Shotley home yesterday.

Eric Jay, who has Alzheimer's disease, triggered a massive search operation after he was last seen by a neighbour at about 3pm.

Mr Jay, of Garden Close, also went missing earlier this month when he was found in a field near Ewarton after becoming confused.

Rescue teams, police dogs, helicopters and coastguards have today been scouring addresses and areas he is known to visit, including where he was discovered on July 22.

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So far any attempts to locate him have proved negative and Suffolk police are keen to speak to him to make sure he is safe.

A liaison officer is currently working with Mr Jay's family, who raised the alarm at 9.35pm yesterday, to offer reassurance and provide a clear line of communication.

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Mr Jay's family were involved in a desperate search last week when he disappeared while out walking in Shotley.

At the time, his son, Trevor, thanked the emergency services for their efforts in finding him, but expressed concerns about the effect Alzheimer's disease was having on his father.

Mr Jay is described as white, 5ft 7ins, of slight build, with short grey hair and wears glasses.

He is likely to be wearing a watch, a light-coloured windcheater, jeans and a polo shirt. He may be wearing a hearing aid and may be carrying a small amount of cash.

In today's operation, a search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham was deployed just after 6am to help police and coastguards.

Flight Lieutenant Jean-marc David, onboard the RAF helicopter, said the crew used a zoom camera to hunt for the man.

He said: “We went straight to the last known location and starting searching the area.

“We landed next to Shotley Primary School, where we liaised with the police. We went up and down the shoreline and then covered inland.”

After a two-hour hunt, the crew returned to Wattisham while police continued the investigation.

Flight Lt David said it was possible they could be called out again to help with the search.

Anyone who may have any information should call the duty sergeant at Hadleigh Police Station on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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