NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Liam Smith: Missing Aberdeen teenager search to be scaled back

Missing poster
Image caption The teenager took the 202 Stagecoach bus from Aberdeen in November

The intensive search for a teenager who went missing from Aberdeen three months ago is to be scaled back.

Liam Smith, 16, was last seen on 17 November on the 202 Stagecoach bus from Aberdeen. He is thought to have got off at Crathes.

Police Scotland said the search be would scaled back over the next few days.

Liam's family said in a statement they continued to hope he would be found, but that they were being "realistic".

They urged any teenagers feeling "overwhelmed" to speak about their feelings.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Liam was wearing a camouflage backpack

Areas of water, woodland, fields and farmland have been searched.

The family statement said: "It is now three months since Liam was last seen and it has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult time for us.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support from members of the public and the communities of the north east.

"We are extremely grateful to the police and those who have supported their inquiries including the Mountain Rescue Teams of Braemar and Aberdeen. We know that the information available to them has been fully investigated and that extensive searches have been carried out."

'Wasn't feeling himself'

Relatives explained: "While we continue to hope that Liam will be found we are being realistic about the challenges around finding him.

"We believe that Liam wasn't feeling himself at the time he went missing and we would encourage any teenager who is feeling overwhelmed to speak to someone about their feelings."

Ch Insp Martin Mackay said: "The response from the public to our appeals has been overwhelming and the communities of Crathes and Banchory have been particularly supportive.

"Reviews of the enquiry have been carried out and will continue as is standard with any long-term missing person investigation.

"At this stage we continue to search but that will be scaled back over the next few days as we conclude the activity at Crathes. The investigation will remain open and any new information will be thoroughly reviewed and assessed."

When last seen, 6ft 4in tall Liam was wearing a dark top and blue jeans. He had a camouflage backpack.

He is also known to have bought Lucozade, Jaffa Cakes and Dairy Milk at Sainsbury's before he left Aberdeen.

He did not have a mobile phone with him.

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