Search continues for missing Corbridge grandfather Thomas Diggle

Teams from the police marine unit carried out searches of the River Tyne in the hope of finding missing grandfather Thomas Diggle.

Police Marine Unit officers search in and around the river in Corbridge for missing man Thomas Diggle
Police Marine Unit officers search in and around the river in Corbridge for missing man Thomas Diggle

Specialists from the police marine unit yesterday searched the River Tyne for missing grandfather Thomas Diggle.

A major police hunt to find the 92-year-old continues a week on from Mr Diggle’s disappearance from Abbeyfield House in Corbridge, Northumberland.

Officers from Northumbria Police’s marine unit searched the River Tyne at Corbridge yesterday, but so far have found no clues as to where he could be.

Police on horseback assisted in the search, as well as specially trained dogs.

Supt Steve Howes said: “Our searches of the area are continuing and we are utilising a range of resources to help us in locating Mr Diggle. The mounted section has assisted in the search, along with specially trained dogs.

“Our inquiries will continue and we would continue to ask any members of the public who have seen Mr Diggle to contact us on 101.”

It is more than a week since Mr Diggle went missing and his daughter Dee Napier says her hopes of finding him are fading.

The 60-year-old, of Sheffield, said: “In the beginning we thought he had just got an idea in his head to go somewhere but now we think he must have had a terrible accident.

“It’s terrible. You can’t think straight, you can’t get on with anything and I’ve got my phone in my hand all the time.

“We appreciate the help from everyone – people are just so upset about it.

“As time goes on our hopes fade.”

Ms Napier, a mother-of-two, believes Mr Diggle slept in his room for at least part of Thursday night, leaving the sheltered accommodation block during the night or on the Friday morning.

He left without taking his bank card, wallet or his medication.

Police have carried out searches of Corbridge, checked CCTV in local shops and carried out door-to-door inquiries.

Mr Diggle, who has lived at Abbeyfield for two years, lost his wife Winnie three years ago.

Ms Napier, said: “He sometimes gets himself mixed up but before he went missing he was completely fine. He was chatting to staff in the home and there was no indication that he was unhappy. He’s been fine for the past few months. His wife died a few years ago and he found that hard, but he’s been OK.”

Mr Diggle is white and 5ft 9ins, with thin grey hair, and he walks with a stoop. He was wearing a flat cap and a dark-coloured long wool. He also had a walking stick.

He is the second person to go missing from Abbeyfield House. In 2012, Monica Dixon vanished from the unit before being found 48 hours later just a quarter of a mile away.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

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