Bonnybridge woman makes emotional appeal to find missing dad, 84

A distraught Bonnybridge woman has thanked authorities and the public for their support in trying to find her elderly father who has gone missing.

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 9th August 2021, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 3:37 pm

Helen Bang’s dad, John Smith, known as Frank, was last seen at the Crianlarich Hotel in Perthshire at 7.15am on Thursday, August 5.

Originally from Nottingham, Mr Smith, 84, is 5ft 10ins, of slim build, with grey hair thinning on top.

Mr Smith was last known to be wearing a dark jacket, grey trousers, a white shirt and distinctive white sun cap and was in possession of two walking poles.

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Missing man John Smith, 84, has been missing from Crianlarich since Thursday, August 5.

He was last seen heading towards Stob Garbh, appearing to be making his way to Ben Cruachan.

Officers have since traced his grey Mazda 6 estate, registration YD60 RNZ, near Ben Cruachan.

A keen hill walker, it is believed he was intending to walk in the area of Crianlarich and Oban.

Mr Smith’s daughter posted an online message on Saturday, thanking people for their support.

She stated: “My dad is missing on Ben Cruachan since Thursday.

“Mountain rescue have teams out looking – thank you for kind wishes. He was last seen on Crianlarich hotel CCTV early on Thursday morning.

“He came to visit last week. It was lovely to see him, it's been 17 months. He then set off to do some fell walking in the Highlands – Ben Cruachan and somewhere else – staying at Crianlarich.

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“We tried to dissuade him as, although he is very fit and regularly does 12 mile walks around Nottingham, the mountains here are very challenging and he'd had difficulties when fell walking with my brother three years ago.

“He had to be walked off the mountain by the mountain rescue people as he was so tired. My brother and sister had also tried to talk him out of it to no avail.

“He was supposed to check in with us each day after his walks. Apart from a very brief phone call to say he'd arrived at Crianlarich on Tuesday we've had radio silence since.

“I rang the hotel on Thursday morning – he was out but they confirmed he'd been seen on the Wednesday evening. He just didn't bother to contact us to say he was safely back from Ben Cruachan.

“I've been struggling to sleep all week imagining him lying at the bottom of a hill somewhere. I have to assume he's just not bothered keeping in touch because he doesn't like being told what to do by his children.

“I'm sad about this as he and I have always been really close. For over 20 years he was my mum's full-time carer and not able to do these walks. I don't begrudge him having fun, I just don't want him to come to any harm and Scottish mountains are very challenging.”

Inspector Paul Collins, of Lochgilphead Police Office, said: “Throughout the weekend and continuing today, extensive searches have been carried out by Police Scotland and partner agencies.

“There is significant concern for Mr Smith’s safety. I would urge anyone who may have been on this route last Thursday, or since, to contact police with any information about your route or any observations you may have made, no matter how insignificant you think it is.”

Call police on 101. Quote incident number 0922 of August 7.

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