North-east residents are being urged to check sheds as part of a massive police search for a missing man.
Alexander Bain – known to pals as Alec – has not been seen since Wednesday and a huge police search involving sniffer dogs and dozens of officers is to continue today.
A police helicopter has also been used in the hunt.
Alec, 51, who has been described by police as “vulnerable”, is known to many Alford residents and often calls into local shops to buy food and cigarettes.
A spokesman for the Icon shop on Alford’s Main Street said Alec visited the shop on Wednesday afternoon.
Police told the Evening Express they made a breakthrough in the search when a driver saw a previous appeal for information and gave them dashcam footage of Alec standing on the side of the road.
Inspector Graeme Allan said: “We are sure it is him and know the last recorded sighting of Alec was at around 6pm on Wednesday in the Balloch, Denmill and Kirkton of Tough areas. If anyone has seen him since then, please contact us.
“We would also ask people to check sheds and outbuildings for signs that someone has spent the night there.”
Police thanked the dozens of people who offered to help search for Alex, but said it could hinder police dogs who work on scent and because the terrain they are searching is boggy.
Mr Allan added: “Alec is well known in the Alford and Banchory areas.
“As time goes by, we are increasingly anxiously to trace him.
“We have had an overwhelming response from members of the public and we are thankful to those who have been in touch.
“Alec is known to walk long distances and he might have sought shelter in the Alford area.
“We believe he may be travelling on foot and has links to the Banchory and Ballater areas.
“We are urging anyone who may have seen him to get in touch with us, particularly if you may have stopped to give him a lift.”
Alec is described as being of slim build.
When he was last seen he was wearing black jogging bottoms, a blue jacket with white stripes down the sleeve and brown training shoes.
He was also carrying a Tesco bag.