Scot­land boss in plea as fam­ily cling to hope

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News - Craig McDon­ald and Ash­lie McI­nally

The na­tional team boss recorded a video mes­sage as po­lice fo­cused their search for Liam on three ar­eas.

The 16-year- old was last seen a week ago yes­ter­day af­ter board­ing a bus in Aberdeen.

McLeish, who played for Aberdeen in the 80s, yes­ter­day ap­pealed di­rectly to the miss­ing teen, say­ing: “Liam, if you are watch­ing this mes­sage, please come home.

“Your mum and the fam­ily are very anx­ious to see you re­turn­ing.”

He added: “This is an ur­gent ap­peal for any­body who knows the where­abouts of Liam Smith.

“Liam went miss­ing on Novem­ber 17 so any­body who has seen Liam in the days since should please con­tact Po­lice Scot­land.”

Liam’s mum, Alix Smith, said his fam­ily and friends are “cling­ing to hope” that he is tak­ing shel­ter some­where.

She said: “Not know­ing where Liam is is just so painful for us and we just want to find him safe.

“Thank you to ev­ery­one who has shared the so­cial me­dia ap­peals, to those peo­ple who have phoned the po­lice with po­ten­tial sight­ings of Liam, and for the many com­ments and kind words that have been posted.”

Po­lice have re­vealed they are fo­cus­ing their search on three lo­ca­tions iden­ti­fied as “ar­eas of in­ter­est”.

They in­clude the spot where he was last seen at Aberdeen’s Union Square, and in Ban­chory and Crathes in Aberdeen­shire.

It’s un­der­stood Liam bought a ticket for Rae­moir Road in Ban­chory, which is about 18 miles from the city.

A pas­sen­ger on the bus has come for­ward to say they be­lieve Liam may have dis­em­barked at Crathes, three miles be­fore Ban­chory.

Ex­actly a week af­ter his dis­ap­pear­ance, of­fi­cers re­turned to Union Square and the bus sta­tion to speak to mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Po­lice also boarded a num­ber of 202 buses to speak to driv­ers and pas­sen­gers.

Liam was seen on CCTV en­ter­ing Union Square shop­ping cen­tre be­fore board­ing a 202 Stage­coach bus at 1.11pm on Novem­ber 17.

When last seen, the teen, who is about 6ft 4in tall, was wear­ing a dark top, blue jeans and Nike Air Max train­ers. He had a cam­ou­flage North Face back­pack.

He did not have a mo­bile phone with him. Po­lice say they have re­ceived about 100 calls with po­ten­tial in­for­ma­tion.

Spe­cial­ist searches, in­clud­ing a search of the River Dee by marine and dive units, are con­tin­u­ing in both ar­eas.

Off icers were car­ry­ing out pa­trols and an in­ci­dent unit was also set up in Ban­chory.

Pos t e r s appe a l ing for in­for­ma­tion have also been put up at lo­ca­tions across the area, in­clud­ing at Aberdeen bus sta­tion’s Stage­coach stand.

Ch Insp Martin Mackay said: “Over the past week we have en­listed the ex­per­tise of re­sources rang­ing from the po­lice he­li­copter to spe­cial­ist search ad­vis­ers and the dog unit.

“There is no deny­ing this is a chal­leng­ing in­quiry, not helped by the fact Liam does not have ac­cess to a mo­bile phone and that no one knows for sure why he would choose to head in this di­rec­tion.

“I must high­light the sup­port we have re­ceived from the pub­lic, rang­ing from peo­ple call­ing in with in­for­ma­tion and po­ten­tial sight­ings of Liam to sim­ply shar­ing our ap­peals on­line.

“I don’t think it would be wrong for me to say his dis­ap­pear­ance has sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected not just his fam­ily and friends but the en­tire North East com­mu­nity and be­yond.

“If you have any in­for­ma­tion at all which could as­sist, please con­tact po­lice.”

Your mum and the fam­ily are very anx­ious to see you re­turn­ing

AP­PEAL Liam Smith. Po­lice are bas­ing their search on three ar­eas UR­GENT Scot­land man­ager Alex McLeish, who played for Aberdeen CAM­ERA Images of Liam from CCTV at Union Square

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