Fears grow for missing pensioner

POLICE are today continuing their enquiries in to the disappearance of a Woodbridge man but extensive searches have been called off. Ian Alfred Prentice, 86, was last seen at his home in Sandy Lane, Woodbridge, on Sunday evening.

POLICE are today continuing their enquiries in to the disappearance of a Woodbridge man but extensive searches have been called off.

Ian Alfred Prentice, 86, was last seen at his home in Sandy Lane, Woodbridge, on Sunday evening.

A huge search operation began on Monday evening when police called in the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team to help them.

Kevin Waterson, search manager with the team, said: "We were called out by Suffolk Police late on Monday afternoon.

"We had about 26 people out during the evening, split into five teams, as well as two sniffer dogs.

"We were mainly searching the Deben Valley area, the sluice and the grounds of Notcutts Garden Centre, as well as the Maidensgrave woods.

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"We also searched the gardens of nearby houses and I would like to thank all the residents for their cooperation.

"These are all what we call 'walk-outs', in other words, areas he could have easily wandered to from his home."

The teams were assisted in their search by the police helicopter, coastguards and the lifeboat service.

Mr Waterson said: "We searched right round to the boatyard because I believe Mr Prentice was once commodore of the Deben Yacht Club. We often go back to places people would have had associations with in their past."

The search was called off at around 11pm on Monday night and began again at around 10am yesterday. The teams carried out a more detailed search of the same areas and followed up leads from a number of calls made to the police.

Mr Waterson said: "Unfortunately we have not found anything and all areas have been thoroughly checked.

"The police have not contacted us to search again today."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "The search and rescue team have been stood down at the moment because there's no other specific areas we can ask them to search.

"We are continuing our enquiries with local people and have visited quite a lot of local establishments like golf clubs, where there is a possibility he could be on their land.

"We would ask people to take a good look at the pictures and if they think they may have seen him in the last 48 hours to contact us immediately on 01473 613500."

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