THE commanding officer of the elite 45 Commando Group today issued a personal appeal to missing Marine Ralph Hebden to let his pregnant wife know he is safe.
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Tanner issued his appeal as the search for the missing 32 year-old Marine entered its fifth day.
Marine Hebden, whose wife Sarah is expecting the couple’s first child within the new two weeks, vanished on Monday morning after setting out for a run along the cliffs on the outskirts of Arbroath, the Angus town where 45 Commando is based at RM Condor.
Lt Col Tanner said: “On behalf of 45 Commando and all who work at Royal Marines Condor, I would like to appeal to Marine Ralph Hebden to get in touch with us as soon as possible, in order to reassure his family and friends, and all his colleagues here at the unit, that he is safe and well.’’
A spokesman for Tayside Police said: “The last confirmed sighting of Ralph was outside Morrisons store in Arbroath shortly after 8.30am on Monday. Concern for him grows with each passing day.”
He continued: “Scores of local residents are following the efforts to trace Ralph via news, television, radio and social media. The missing man’s pregnant wife Sarah is hugely encouraged by the public support.”
Around 30 of Marine Hebden’s fellow Commandoes also joined Tayside Police officers today in a search of the East Seaton area on the outskirts of the Angus town.
Inspector Ally Robertson, who is heading the massive search, said: ‘‘I have spoken with Sarah as clearly we keep her aware of everything that is being done in the effort to find Ralph safe and well. She has seen the supportive posts on Facebook and the coverage that the media have been giving in the drive to find Ralph and she greatly appreciates everyone’s concerns and positive messages.
‘‘But what she needs right now is for Ralph to come home and we would urge him to get in touch. His loved ones are understandable worried for him and want him home.’’
Three days ago Mrs Hebden issued an emotional appeal to her husband to come home. She said in a statement, released by Tayside Police: “Ralph, as time goes by we are all extremely worried about you and concerned for your safety. Our baby is due in a couple of weeks and we need you home with us both. Your family and friends love you very much. Please come home or contact any of us to let us know you are safe.”
Police officers are also looking at the possibility that Marine Hebden, originally from Toxteth in Liverpool , may have travelled to the Merseyside area where he has friends and family, and are working closely with Merseyside Police who are assisting with inquiries.
Marine Hebden Marine Hebden is described as 6ft 4 inches tall, muscular build, with short cropped fair hair. When he was last seen he was wearing black trainers, dark blue or black jogging bottoms, a blue fleece and had a blue rain jacket in his possession.