Intensive search operation for missing Aberdeenshire pensioner to extend further

William Ritchie.

Police looking for a man missing from his North-east home are to extend the search area next week.

William Ritchie – known to pals as Bill – was reported missing from his home on West Road, Fraserburgh, on January 14, sparking a massive search operation from Police Scotland.

This week, officers carried out an intensive search of the built-up area surrounding the 90-year-old’s home and also searched the Sandhaven area.

“Moving forward, a specialist team will be focusing their efforts in the direction of Peathill as a potential location Mr Ritchie might have walked to,” said a Police Scotland spokeswoman.

She added: “Officers are asking anyone who uses any of the roads to Peathill regularly, and who might have seen a man fitting Mr Ritchie’s description on the roadside in the days leading up to him being reported missing on January 14 to get in touch.”

Local Inspector Kevin Goldie, who has been overseeing inquiries, said: “There are a number of routes leading from Sandhaven to Peathill – all of which will be the focus of our attention moving forward into next week. Given the fact Bill could be known to walk for miles when at his fittest and that we have found no trace of him yet, it is crucial we expand our search area.

“It is two weeks exactly since Bill was reported missing to police and, despite the fact some time has passed, people are still coming forward with extremely helpful information.

“If you saw Bill in the lead-up to January 14 but think it’s too late to let us know, I would still urge you to come forward.”

Mr Ritchie is around 5ft 7in, of a slim build, with short grey hair. It is not known what he was wearing when he went missing, but he usually wears a 3/4 length black jacket and potentially a flat cap.

Call police on 101 quoting incident number 2,549 of January 14.