A family who are desperately seeking information to help locate a North Yorkshire man missing on a Greek island have thanked people for their overwhelming support and kindness.
Russell Ward, 76, from Stokesley, has been missing on the Island of Tilos, near Rhodes, since Thursday 14 June 2012.
It is believed he headed along the coast of Gera which lies south of the main port of Livadia. It is possible he may have then headed inland to complete a circular route back to Livadia.
Search and rescue efforts have proved unsuccessful and local police are conducting a missing person investigation. This ongoing inquiry is being supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Russell’s family have issued a statement via North Yorkshire Police to thank people for their sympathy and support in their appeal for vital information:
We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to everyone who has helped with the search and rescue effort so far, including our ongoing campaign for information to help locate Russell who was last seen on the Greek island of Tilos on 14 June.
We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support and genuine feelings shown for Russell, a very special husband, father and grandpa.
Several members of the family spent around two weeks on the small island following his disappearance, walking the designated trails, searching nearby covered areas, deserted houses and caves.
We received tremendous support from locals on the island, the local army, search and rescue professionals and many volunteers from the neighbouring island Rhodes, who kindly gave up their own time to help the search. Thank you, all of you.
So much has been done to help, yet we remain desperate to uncover that vital little piece of information that may lead us to Russell.
Please can everyone continue to support and pass on details of the media campaign and the dedicated Facebook (www.facebook.com/findrussellward) and Twitter (@findrussell) accounts.
We are particularly calling for anyone who may have been to, or is planning on visiting, Tilos and neighbouring islands, to let us know if they get any information which may help us in our continued search for Russell.
Anyone who can help the appeal is urged to contact the North Yorkshire Police control room on (01904) 618691, press option 1 and quote “Russell Ward, Missing Person”.