Police searching for a missing Washington man say they are keeping an “open mind” about his movements on the day he disappeared.
Football fan Colin Pine, 55, of Ennerdale in Albany, Washington, failed to return home after telling his family he was going out to watch the Tyne-Wear derby on the afternoon of Sunday, December 21.
He was reported missing in the early hours of Monday morning, December 22.
Police say their enquiries led them to believe he had watched the match at The Swan pub in Heworth due to witness reports.
However, that sighting has not been confirmed by anyone who personally knows Mr Pine so officers are now looking at other possibilities.
Telephone enquiries carried out over the Christmas period found that his mobile phone was in the Washington area at just before 6pm on Sunday, December 21.
Detectives say that led them to focus of the search on the Washington area. Specialist marine officers, the dog section and police horses have been used, as well as specially trained volunteers from Northumbria Mountain Rescue Service, to carry out searches throughout the festive period and those searches are continuing.
Sunderland Area Command Superintendent Ged Noble said: “The search for Mr Pine has been continuing throughout Christmas, and following new telecommunications information received on Christmas Eve, the search has been focusing on the Washington area.
“Specialist officers, supported by volunteers from Northumbria Mountain Rescue Service, are searching areas including parks, open water and those routes Mr Pine may have taken if he had retuned to the area from The Swan in Heworth.
“We’re keeping an open mind and are doing everything we can to trace Mr Pine’s movements before he was reported missing, including checking CCTV and following up information received from the public about potential sightings.
“Obviously Mr Pine’s family are devastated and want to know where he is so if anyone has any information at all which they think may help - if they saw him any time after 1pm on Sunday, December 21, in Heworth or Washington, or they think they may have seen him since, get in touch as soon as possible.”
Mr Pine is described as 5ft 6ins-tall, of stocky build, and when last seen he was wearing a black fleece, navy blue t-shirt, blue jeans and black walking boots.
Anyone who sees him or who knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 189 22/12/14.