'It’s the kind of thing you see in the movies' - how police traced missing man to Northumberland
Two police officers have been praised for “the kind of thing you see in the movies” after successfully tracing a missing man through their “gut instincts”.
While they suspected the 67-year-old pensioner may have been in Northumberland, inquiries had failed to turn up a mobile phone number or location.
Just as hopes to find him were starting to fade, PCs Bruno Lee and Martin Coates decided to recheck the man’s mail to make sure nothing had been missed.
PC Coates found a Christmas card and, on holding it up to the light, saw a shimmer of what appeared to be the faint imprint of a word and an Alnwick phone number.
It appeared someone had been resting on the card while writing a note and left an indent on the card beneath.
The Durham officers carried out further checks to find an address, which ultimately led them to the missing Crook man, who confirmed he was safe and well and staying with friends.
Inspector David Littlefair, of Bishop Auckland Police, said: “When someone is reported missing it is a worrying time for family and friends and officers will do everything they can to reunite people as quickly as possible.
“Because of the officers’ thoroughness, the missing person was quickly spoken to who confirmed he was safe and well, resulting in a positive outcome and bringing the long investigation to a successful close.
“It’s the kind of thing you see in the movies but it really does show how dedicated our officers are and sometimes you just have to follow your gut instincts.”