Search continues for missing teenager

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POLICE are today continuing their search for missing Durham University student Euan Coulthard.

Yesterday, Teesdale & Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team completed a woodland search around Durham Cathedral in a bid to find the 19-year-old who has been missing for four days.

MISSING STUDENT: Euan Coulthard, 19, and a law student at St Mary's College in Durham, was reported missing on the afternoon of Thursday, January 15.

MISSING STUDENT: Euan Coulthard, 19, and a law student at St Mary's College in Durham, was reported missing on the afternoon of Thursday, January 15.

The team of mountain rescue volunteers were initially called on Thursday afternoon to the River Wear in Durham City where 18 team members carried out a riverbank and canoe search five miles downstream from the city.

John Little, Mountain Rescue Search Manager, said: “On Friday we concentrated on a search of the steep woodland above the river surrounding Durham Cathedral with assistance from Durham Police officers. Yesterday, 26 of our team members completed the woodland search as well as repeating the canoe search to Finchale Priory. Our swiftwater rescue team also worked closely with a team from Durham and Darlington Fire Service to check likely entrapment points above the weirs in Durham City.”

Pete Bell Team Leader said: “We would like to thank the students of St Mary’s College who have been offering to help us with the search with a number of them coming up to our team members to say thank you for helping to search for Euan. The college itself has also kindly provided catering for all of the emergency services.”

The law student has not been seen since shortly after midnight on Thursday.

Shopkeepers in Durham have put up posters, scores of fellow students have joined searches, and a Facebook campaign to find the teenager has been “liked” more than 2,000 times.

Since then he has not responded to emails, texts or online messages, which friends said is out of character.

Yesterday, around 100 fellow students continued to work alongside professional rescue teams as searchers began to scour the fast-flowing River Wear below. Its waters reached about one metre higher than usual earlier this week.

Chief Inspector Sue Robinson: “Because the river has been so high, today, Saturday, has actually been the first opportunity we’ve got to actually search the river as well as the banks.

“Of course as time passes, and we’ve had tremendously cold weather over the last three days, the welfare of Euan is paramount and our concerns are rising. However, this is still an active missing from home inquiry, and we’ll continue in that vein until we receive information otherwise.”

She said she had “every hope” Mr Coulthard would still be found.

Mr Coulthard is a member of Durham University’s St Mary’s College and was out on Wednesday evening, celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday at an Italian restaurant.

He went on to the Love Shack nightclub and was later seen leaving alone. He was last picked up on CCTV crossing the pedestrian Framwellgate Bridge.

Mr Coulthard is 5ft 9in, of average build, with light brown hair, which is short on the sides and longer on the top. When last seen he was wearing black skinny jeans, a denim jacket and a beige patterned shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101.