THE SEARCH FOR a missing Newcastle man brought a desperate father to Elgin at the weekend following a possible reported sighting of his son.
Michael Whinham went missing from his home in Newcastle two months ago – with police in his native Northumbria saying that foul play “could be factored” into his disappearance.
Since Mr Whinham went missing on November 23, his father Paul has refused to believe that he was no longer alive – and has been conducting a nationwide search for information on his missing son.
Paul made the six-hour drive to Elgin after he had heard from a woman who used to live in the same area of Newcastle, Wallsend, before moving to Moray five years ago. She reported spotting a face she believed she recognised while shopping in Elgin on Thursday, January 14, and said she later realised it was Michael Whinham.
On his arrival in Moray, Paul placed posters in the Post Office, Asda and Tesco stores as well as several shops in the town. He said: “When I went to the police station to my amazement they did not know anything – even though Northumbria Police were notified over a week ago of the possible sighting in Moray. The lady who phoned and said she had saw Michael is originally from Wallsend but has lived in Elgin for five years.
“The police in Elgin said that they would notify any homeless shelters in the area and circulate his photo – they said if he was in the area they would find him.”
Mr Whinham said that he firmly believed his son was not the type to do himself any harm, and while his son was said to owe some small-time drug dealers money he remained convinced that they would not have injured him.
He added that his son had a variety of mental problems over the 14 years since his mother died and used illegal drugs to control these problems.
Anyone who believes they may have seen Michael Whinham in Moray is being asked to contact police on 101 and ask for Newcastle Central CID.