Fresh search for elderly dog-walker missing for ten days

James Paton, 72, went missing on December 23 in the Highlands, leaving his dog in his car.

James Paton: Dog-walker last seen in car ten days ago.
James Paton: Dog-walker last seen in car ten days ago.

Concern is growing for an elderly dog-walker who disappeared in the Highlands just before Christmas.

Officers resumed a search on Thursday morning for 72-year-old James Paton, who has been missing since December 23.

Mr Paton, from Kiltarlity near Inverness, disappeared after setting out at Ruttle Woods, on the south side of the River Beauly, which he knows well.

His car was found parked there ten days ago with his dog still inside the vehicle.

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Extensive searches have continued on an almost daily basis since then with hundreds of volunteers helping out.

Police at Ruttle Wood in search for missing James Paton.
Police: Officers resumed search at woods on Thursday.

Police divers have scoured local riverbanks. Dog teams, fire crews, Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team and a Coastguard helicopter have also played a part.

Provost Helen Carmichael, a Highland councillor, said: “Our thoughts are with the Paton family at this worrying time.

“But we’d also like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who came out every day onto this rough terrain to help the police with their search for Jim Paton.”

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Police said Mr Paton’s disappearance was “completely out of character”.

The force has urged locals to check outbuildings in case he sought shelter.

He was last seen driving his silver Dacia Duster on the Fanellan Farm Road on the afternoon of December 23.

Mr Paton is described as 5ft 5in, of stout build with grey hair and beard and wears glasses.

He was thought to be wearing a black and red checked shirt and usually wears blue jeans or black work trousers.

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