The devastated daughter of a Sunderland man who has been missing for three years after he was believed to have been murdered is “begging” for anyone with information as to his whereabouts to come forward.
Robert Hutchinson, who would have turned 60 next month, was last seen in Hendon where he lived on Monday, June 23, 2014, at 6.20pm.
He left his Corporation Road home in his blue Nissan Micra before being seen on CCTV putting fuel at the Asda petrol station in Leechmere at 4.40pm.
Detectives have since said they believed he has been murdered although no body has been found.
Now, as a Crimestoppers reward of £10,000 is offered for providing information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his murder, Mr Hutchinson’s family have made another desperate plea for those who may know where he is to come forward.
Holding back tears as she renewed her plea for information, Mr Hutchinson’s loving daughter Paula, 33, who spoke alongside her brother Gavin Newton, 37, said: “We’re happy that the reward has gone up as it gives people an incentive to come forward.
“Now, we just hope someone will talk.
“The last three years has been a living hell. My dad was there one day and the next he was gone.
“We are all in limbo and the not knowing is awful. I just hope someone will come forward and give us the information they need.”
CCTV released by detectives now shows what is believed to be Mr Hutchinson walking near the Chester’s Pub, off Chester Road, on the evening of his disappearance.
His car was later discovered in Stewart Street, opposite the Chester’s.
There have been no sightings of Mr Hutchinson since.
Three men were arrested last year on suspicion of his murder, but they were later released without charge.
Paula, Gavin and police officers have now carried out a leaflet drop in the Chester Road area to try and jog the memories of people living there.
Paula, mum to Josh, added that the last three years has seen the family in constant pain at not knowing where her dad is and she says that none of them will be able to move on properly until he is found.
“I thought that by now, he would’ve been found,” she said.
“But he hasn’t been and it’s just awful.
“My son regularly asks where his granddad is. He’s only 11-years-old and doesn’t understand properly.
“My brother’s just had a little baby girl, she’s now 11 weeks old and my dad has not had the chance to meet her.
“I’m urging anybody who knows anything to please come forward.
“I’m begging them to come forward and end this nightmare.”
Detective Inspector Ed Small is currently reviewing the murder as part of Northumbria Police’s Unsolved Murders Revisited and he says he hopes the activities this week will open new lines of enquiries and find the missing piece of the jigsaw.
DI Small said: “Our condolences very much remain with Robert’s family.
“I’m sure it has been a very difficult few years and the not having the answers only prolongs their grief.
“We need answers to what happened to him.
“We hope that together with Crimestoppers and the people of Sunderland, we can help find the person or people responsible to Robert’s death.
“There will be people in the community who will have information about his murder and information that can assist with our enquiry and we need them to come forward and speak to us.”
“Robert’s car was found at the end of Stewart Street near to Chester Road, it had been left sometime overnight between Monday, June 23 and Tuesday, June 24, 2014, so we are targeting the area to establish Robert’s last movements”
“I would ask anyone with any information, no matter how irrelevant they think it is, to come forward.”
A spokesman for Crimestoppers said: “Somewhere out there someone knows who has committed this act, and we urge them to contact the Charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity in order to help bring the individual to justice.”
Anyone with information that can assist detectives in finding Mr Hutchinson should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 410 260614, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Information will be treated in the strictest of confidence and can be passed anonymously if necessary.