POLICE say that hopes of finding a missing man alive are fading.
Officers are continuing their search for Robert Gordon Sanderson, pictured, from Peterlee, who disappeared at the beginning of July.
Now, more than a month on, the search is concentrated on The Denes area of the town.
Inspector David Wells, from Durham Police, who is leading the search, said: “We have been working with our colleagues from Fell Rescue and the Castle Eden Dene Ranger in our attempts to locate Robert.
“We are aware that as time goes on, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will find Robert alive, and we have prepared his family for the worst.”
Mr Sanderson, 57, was last seen at his home in Witton Garth, Peterlee, on July 5. His sister saw him at about 6am, when he left home to go for a walk.
He is about 6ft tall and has short dark brown hair.
He wears glasses and was last seen wearing a black sweater, blue jeans and black trainers or boots.
Anyone with information about Mr Sanderson, is asked to call police on the 101 non-emergency number.