‘We have covered a huge area on land, in the sea and by air’ – police search for missing teacher continues

MISSING: Mark Bushnell
MISSING: Mark Bushnell

SPECIALIST teams and police officers are completing the search of a caravan park in the hunt for a missing man today before turning their attention to continuing the search this weekend.

Searches have been carried out in the Crimdon Dene and Blackhall Rocks area today as police continue their efforts to find missing deputy headteacher Mark Bushnell.

The 50-year-old dad-of-three has not been seen since lunchtime last Sunday, March 9 and his wife, Joanna, reported him missing the same evening after he had been away from the family home for several hours and she hadn’t been able to contact him.

His Citroen C3 car was found abandoned at Blackhall Rocks early on Monday and police have been scouring the area for clues to his disappearance ever since.

Inspector Dave Coxon, who is coordinating the police actions this weekend, said Mr Bushnell’s concerned family are “realistic about the chance of a positive outcome”.

The police search teams are today completing their work in the area of Crimdon Dene caravan park.

Search and rescue volunteers will be back in the area both tomorrow and Sunday with their efforts being co-ordinated by a specialist police search advisor.

Police community support officers will also be in the car park and caravan park throughout most of Sunday, handing out leaflets to visitors with Mark’s photo and details as they hope in the hope they speak to somebody who remembers seeing or speaking to Mr Bushnell but has not yet come forward

Insp Coxon said; “We spoke at length to Mark’s family yesterday and they are very realistic about the chance of a positive outcome. With the help of the other agencies we have covered a huge area on land, in the sea and by air over the last few days. We have also used specialist sniffer dogs in the hope of finding a clue which might indicate where Mark has gone.

“Everything we have learned about him indicates a devoted family man who is very highly regarded by all whoi know him. It would be completely out of character for Mark to just disappear and not make any contact with his family.”

Since Mr Bushnell was reported missing police have been assisted by a number of agencies including Cleveland Harbour Police, the National Police Air Support helicopter, British Transport Police, who have searched along nearby railway lines and mountain rescue volunteers.