Family of missing man thank friends for help

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THE parents and girlfriend of a young mechanic, who vanished near cliffs on the Aberdeenshire coast, spoke of their heartbreak yesterday as they thanked the search teams who had scoured the coastline for him.

Grant Ritchie is feared to have plunged to his death after he was last seen in the early hours of Sunday, near a network of paths at the top of the cliffs at Cove near Aberdeen.

He vanished in the darkness after he became separated from his girlfriend, Lisa Stephen, 17, and two other fiends after they had left a party in the village around 1am on Sunday.

An intensive search for the missing 20-year-old was stood down earlier this week but his father, Grant Ritchie Senior, and a group of friends have continued to scour the area for any trace of the young mechanic.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Ritchie and his wife Patricia said: “The last few days have been particularly traumatic for us all but the most heartbreaking part is not knowing where Grant is or what has happened to him.

“We would like to thank everyone who has come out to help us in the search for our son and express our gratitude for their support at this time. It is comforting that so many put in such effort into helping us find him and that is an indication of how well thought of he is.”