Car found in Wear believed to be that of missing Sunderland man Matthew Bentham

Northumbria Police's Marine unit search the River Wear, near the Shipwright's Pub, North Hylton.
Northumbria Police's Marine unit search the River Wear, near the Shipwright's Pub, North Hylton.
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Police searching for missing Sunderland man Matthew Bentham say a car found in the River Wear is believed to be his.

News of the discovery has been passed on to the family of the 26-year-old, who has not been seen since 11pm on Boxing Day.

Matthew Bentham.

Matthew Bentham.

Matthew was last seen as he left his home in Hylton Castle in his car - a grey Ford Focus estate (reg number ND07WBU).

A car similar to his was spotted on CCTV on the A19 near to the River Wear, on Sunday at about 2.40am, and officers are focusing their searches around the river at this location.

Chief Inspector Julian Bowran, of Northumbria Police, said: "We are really concerned for Matthew's welfare and would urge anyone with any information as to his whereabouts to contact us as soon as possible.

"A similar car to Matthew's was seen near to the river in the early hours of Sunday morning and we are carrying out searches of the area, including sections of the river itself, as there is a possibility that he may have gone into the river.

"Matthew's family and friends are extremely worried about him and if anyone saw anything, or has any information that might help us find Matthew, then I'd ask that they contact us as soon as possible with any information."

Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact police on 101.