Edward Gillespie: River Stort search resumes for missing man

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Media captionEd Gillespie disappeared after an office Christmas party

Volunteers looking for a man from Bedfordshire who went missing after a Christmas work's party in Essex have resumed searching the River Stort.

Edward Gillespie, 38, from Luton, was last seen in the early hours on 22 December at the Roydon Marina Hotel, near Roydon Mill.

On Friday, Mr Gillespie's glasses were found in the river's muddy embankment near the hotel.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We haven't given up hope on finding Ed."

Mr Gillespie's relatives reported him missing when he failed to return home after celebrating an office Christmas party at the Roydon venue.

Image caption Edward Gillespie, 38, went missing on 22 December

Supt Luke Collison, from Essex Police, said: "It has been 10 days since he was last seen, but we haven't given up hope on finding Ed and neither should the public."

During the last week of December, teams from Essex Police searched the riverbanks and waterways of the River Stort for clues to Mr Gillespie's whereabouts, but high water levels have been hampering the investigation.

"The high water levels and fast flowing river has proved dangerous for our marine crew, but now the water has dropped we can begin a more thorough search," said Mr Collision.

He added: "It is a distressing time for his family and friends, especially as it's new year and they have to enter 2013 without him.

"Our thoughts are with them, but they know that we are doing everything to find him."

The New Year's Day police search was helped by volunteers from Essex Lowland Search and Rescue.

A Facebook page has been set up to help co-ordinate the volunteer search. Police are appealing for witnesses.

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