River experts used in search for missing Northumberland mum Janis Hall

River experts have been drafted in to help in the search for missing Northumberland woman Janis Hall

Police Marine unit and a local expert walking the river near Hexham searching for Missing Northumberland woman Janis Hall
Police Marine unit and a local expert walking the river near Hexham searching for Missing Northumberland woman Janis Hall

River experts are now being used in the search for missing Janis Hall.

Police who have been scouring the Northumberland countryside since the 65-year-old vanished three weeks ago are now also trawling a waterway close to her home, in Catton, near Hexham.

Specially-trained marine rescue officers have been working with an expert from British Waterways along the banks of the River East Allen this weekend.

On Saturday morning the team marked out inlets along the riverbank, while police also continued with a land-based search around the village and nearby countryside.

Their focus along the river at the stretch between the Catton side of the B6295 road and the River West Allen comes after Northumbria Police officers scoured Langley Dam, which is around a mile away, in kayaks.

A volunteer search and rescue team and a police helicopter have also been involved in the search for Mrs Hall.

Supt Gilian Mitchell, of Northumbria Police, said: “As part of police inquiries to find Janis Hall, who has been missing from her home in Catton, near Hexham, officers will be carrying out searches around the river area in Catton.”

Relatives last heard from Janis, a keen walker, at around 3pm on December 19 when she was spoken to on the phone.

Following her disappearance, Janis’ distraught children Ian and Gillian made an emotional plea for the 65-year-old to come home for Christmas.

During the last fortnight residents in Catton have also carried out extensive searches around the village and surrounding areas of Tynedale. It was thought the grandmother had been struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband, who died six months ago, but to go missing was extremely out of character.

Supt Mitchell added: “They are beside themselves with worry and desperate to hear of her whereabouts.

“Our inquiries are continuing and we’d urge anyone who may have seen Mrs Hall, or may have information they feel may help us to locate her, to get in contact with police as soon as possible.”

Janis is 5ft 4ins tall, of medium build, with grey short hair, and wears glasses. She was possibly wearing a green fleece coat, black trousers and a black fur Russian-style hat when she last left her home. The grandmother is known to visit Allendale and Hexham frequently.

Anyone with any information about her whereabouts should call Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 1124 19/12/13.

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