Fears grow as police face two missing person hunts

Missing Peebles man Steven Hope..
Missing Peebles man Steven Hope..
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POLICE say they are increasingly concerned for a Peebles man who has been missing for more than a week, writes Bob Burgess and Sally Gillespie.

Steven Hope was last seen on Wednesday of last week and he has made no known contact with anyone since.

In a separate incident, civilian search teams and police are combing an area of Bowhill Estate on the outskirts of Selkirk for a woman reported missing around midday on Tuesday.

At the time of going to press, police had not revealed details of the missing woman who is believed to be local to the Selkirk area.

Mr Hope was last seen around 9.30pm last Wednesday in the Greenside area of Peebles.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police at divisional headquarters in Hawick confirmed: “Since then, he has failed to make contact with friends or family and concern is growing for his safety.

“We are keen to trace Steven as soon as possible as it is out of character for him to be away from home for such a period without making contact with his family or friends. We are eager to find him as soon as possible to ensure that he is safe and well.”

The 43-year-old is white, 5ft 10in and stockily built. He is normally clean shaven with green-grey eyes.

Two distinguishing marks are an eight inch skin graft on his right arm and a Celtic tattoo between his shoulder blades.

Police say he speaks with a Scottish accent and may be wearing a green-brown fishing jacket.

The police spoksman added: “Anyone who has spoken to Steven since his disappearance or knows his whereabouts is asked to come forward and speak with our officers.”

Early yesterday afternoon, the search was contuining around Bowhill for the un-named missing woman, who is 53.

Estate residents said they did not know the identity of the missing woman but confirmed there had been considerable activity.

Divers from the Borders Underwater Search Team searched a local loch yesterday and were also examining local watercourses.

Fields and woodland have also been searched. Police were assessing the situation as we went to press and were expected to release more information.

Meanwhile police have confirmed that a woman with Border connections who went missing from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital on Monday of last week was found safe and well several days later. Police said they had been concerned because 54-year-old Hazel McLachlan from Dalry – who used to live in Selkirk – was diabetic and was not in possession of her medication.