MYSTERY still surrounds the disappearance of a deputy headteacher who went missing from home on Sunday.
Police and other agencies continue to search a stretch of East Durham coast for Mark Bushnell, 50.
Mr Bushnell left his Durham City home on Sunday morning after telling his wife Joanna he wanted to find a launderette to do some washing.
His grey Citroen C3 car – with the unwashed bag of washing still in it – was found at a picnic site near Blackhall Rocks in the early hours of Monday morning.
Police say there is no indication of any criminal involvement.
Mr Bushnell’s head teacher at Durham School, Martin George, said he knew of no reason why his colleague should go missing.
“He is well-respected here,” said Mr George. “He had no problems with his job as far as I know, other than the usual stresses associated with being a deputy head.
“I last saw him on Saturday when we went to London to watch his son play in a schools’ rugby tournament.
“He was fine on the coach coming back. The whole school is in shock at his disappearance. We are appealing for anyone who knows anything to contact the police.”
Mr Bushnell is married with three children, all of whom attend the school in Quarryheads Lane, Durham City.
He was wearing a stripey shirt, described by police as ‘smart’, when he went missing.
Chief Inspector Andy Huddleston of Durham Police is leading the search. He said: “As more time passes we are growing increasingly concerned.
“There is absolutely no indication of any criminal or third party involvement. The search is being concentrated on an area of the coast between Seaham and Black- hall.
“We have had many offers of help from the public, but we are confident we have the resources to search the area thoroughly.
“Parts of the coast can be hazardous, so searching is best left to the professionals.
“Anyone with information should contact us on 101.”