Cambridgeshire

Missing Peterborough man's family raise money for search team bikes

Michael Smith Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Michael Smith has been missing for almost six months

The family of a missing man said his disappearance had left an "irreparable hole in our hearts" but they had spent the time fundraising for the volunteer team which has been searching for him.

Anglian Water employee Michael Smith, 53, has not been seen since leaving his Peterborough home on 11 June.

Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (Camsar) has spent more than 1,200 hours looking for him.

His family has now raised money for the group to buy four new search bicycles.

Mr Smith, known as Mick, was wearing his blue work uniform when he left his home in Glinton at about 11:30 BST on the Tuesday in question.

Volunteers from lowland rescue organisation Camsar were called in to help locate him.

"We returned again this past weekend to continue the search, but still no answers," a spokesman wrote on social media.

Image copyright Camsar
Image caption Four fully kitted-out bicycles have been bought with funds raised by the family of missing Michael Smith

Camsar volunteer Barry Carter said: "During this traumatic time for the family, they have still mustered the strength and courage to fundraise for our team, which is truly humbling and inspiring."

More than £2,000 was raised by family and friends, which has been put towards buying specially kitted-out search and rescue bicycles, enabling the charity to "resurrect our bicycle search team".

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Michael Smith's family said they "hope and pray... he is returned safely to us"

Thanking Camsar and others for the continuing search, Mr Smith's family wrote: "We were unaware of the Camsar charity until we needed them, and like many small local charities, they are the unsung heroes of our community.

"Since Mick/dad's disappearance... we have felt utter loss, pain and despair.

"...the hole left in our hearts is irreparable."

He praised the generosity of those who supported the fundraising efforts and said "the bikes will really help the team to cover large areas in a shorter time".

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