Appeal over pensioner missing for more than six months

James Paton, 73, was last seen two days before Christmas at Ruttle Woods in the Highlands.

A fresh appeal has been made to find a pensioner who went missing just before Christmas.

James Paton, from Kiltarlity near Inverness, was last seen at around 1.30pm on December 23 driving his silver Dacia Duster at Ruttle Woods near the River Beauly in the Highlands, where he was going to walk his dog.

His car was traced there at about 4.30pm that afternoon with his spaniel collie cross dog inside – but there was no sign of the 73-year-old.

Although six months have now passed, police said they want to remind the public the search is ongoing.

Sergeant Brian Bisset, of Beauly Police Office, said: “This is a very upsetting time for Mr Paton’s family, who are extremely worried as six months have now passed without any further sightings or contact from him, which is totally out of character.

“Despite the passage of time, we will continue to carry out inquiries to trace him and we will follow up any information we receive.”

Mr Paton is described as white, 5ft 8in and of stocky build with grey hair and a beard.

He wears glasses and when he was last seen he was wearing black trousers with a purple jumper, a green fleece jacket and brown boots.

Significant police inquiries and searches have been carried out as work goes on to trace the pensioner.

Officers have been assisted by the local community and specialist resources including search advisors, police dogs, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Dundonnel Mountain Rescue Team, HM Coastguard helicopter and a dive and marine unit. 

Sergeant Bisset added: “I would again appeal to anyone with any information that may assist our investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to contact 101 quoting reference number 3111 of December 23.”

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