Specialist search teams are assisting detectives in their investigation to locate missing grandfather Michael Mawson.
A team of around 50 officers and volunteers trawled woods and riverbanks as the hunt to find the 59-year-old enters its third day.
Officers conducted a search of land around Mr Mawson’s home in Armonside Road in Chopwell, Gateshead, where he was last seen on January 31.
Chief Inspector Stephen Ammari, who is based at Gateshead police station, said: “The last sighting of Mr Mawson was at his home address so we started our search there and are now moving out, covering land around that area.
“There is no reason for his disappearance but he left the house some time between 6.30am on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and we don’t know where he went to.
“We are concerned about him because it is out of character.”
Specialists from the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and Durham Search and Rescue are assisting in the investigation and yesterday teams were searching Chopwell Woods and the surrounding river bank.
Detectives are also trying to piece together Mr Mawson’s last moments but say there is nothing to suggest he left his home for a long period of time. Inspector Ammari said: “We are dealing with a missing person and we are trying to find him safe and well. We are still very hopeful and remain positive.”
Mr Mawson’s daughter Sandy said the family had been thrown into turmoil since the 59-year-old’s disappearance. “We just love him so much and want him home,” said the 26-year-old, who has a twin sister Maria. “We miss him and love him very much,” she said.
Mr Mawson, who worked as a road sweeper for Gateshead Council before being made redundant three years ago, dotes on grandchildren Poppy, two, and seven-month-old Leo, by his daughter Maria.
Sandy added: “The only person he has had contact with was a friend. We had contact by phone and text.”
Mr Mawson is 6ft 4in tall, of stocky build, with short hair, balding on top. Officers are appealing for him to make contact, or anyone who recognises him to call police straightaway.
Contact police on 101, ext 69191, quoting log number 983 of 02/02/14 or ring the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.