Robert Hutchinson murder probe: Family seeks 'closure'

Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
Paula Hutchinson said she was "begging" for help to get answers about what happened to her dad

The daughter of a man thought to have been murdered six years ago has appealed for help to achieve "closure" as she faces another Christmas without him.

Robert Hutchinson, then 56, was last seen leaving his home in the Hendon area of Sunderland on 23 June 2014.

Police believe he was murdered but his body has never been found.

His daughter Paula, 37, said: "We just want answers and we hope somebody out there can help give us closure."

CCTV footage released at the time showed Mr Hutchinson filling up his blue Nissan Micra at an Asda petrol station on the day he went missing.

Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
Police believe Robert Hutchinson came to harm on the night he vanished, but his body has never been found

A murder investigation was launched following his disappearance and Northumbria Police said detectives believed Mr Hutchinson came to harm that night.

Ms Hutchinson said: "This was so out of character for dad and the last six-and-a-half years have been so hard for everyone. We still can't quite believe that he's gone.

"He loved his family and wouldn't have gone this long without getting in touch.

"I am begging, literally begging for anyone who has information, even if anonymously, to get in touch. We need answers."

Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
CCTV footage from an Asda petrol station showed Mr Hutchinson filling his car on the day he went missing

In 2017 Crimestoppers offered a £10,000 reward for information in connection to the murder investigation.

Det Sgt Chris Deavin, of Northumbria Police, said: "It is always a tragedy when we are dealing with a missing person believed to have been murdered, particularly when the family have waited so long for answers.

"Their anguish is further compounded at this time of year when families get together to enjoy Christmas.

"My message to anybody out there who holds the key to this investigation is simple: Please give Robert's family the opportunity to seek that closure."

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