Belfast Telegraph

Dean McIlwaine: Call for volunteers to help search Belfast's Cave Hill

By Jonathan Bell

A call has been made for volunteers to help out with a new search for missing Newtownabbey man Dean Mcilwaine.

Volunteers are asked to gather at the Hightown Road entrance to the country park at noon on Saturday. The search is supported by the Northern Ireland Land Rovers club, Belfast City Council, Belfast Hills along with land owners and the PSNI.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker is one of the coordinators. He said: "I would encourage anyone who is available to please get involved.  It was heartbreaking to watch Dean's parents as they made that emotional plea to everyone to help return their son.  Dean's family, friends and girlfriend are devastated and everyone is praying that this popular man returns home soon.

"On Saturday we will have a number of teams to cover this popular park and would ask any experienced hill walkers to give assistance. Please wear appropriate foot wear and clothing, volunteers will be on hand to support those taking part in the search."

For further information, contact Paul on 07467339637.

Police held a vehicle checkpoint on Thursday on Carnmoney Road, the last place he was seen around 1pm on Thursday, July 13.

Leaflets with Mr McIlwaine's photo were handed out in the hope of jogging any memories of his movements.

Speaking at the appeal yesterday, brother Glen said that he idolised Dean.

"I just want to say, Dean, wherever you are, just let us know, I need my brother back, mum and dad need their son back," he said.

Comforting his wife, Dean's father Rod added: "We need you, we're lost without you."

Shortly after the vehicle checkpoint police officers using a sniffer dog and working with members of the Community Rescue Service continued their search in a woodland near the family home.

The 22-year-old is described as 5ft 8in, of medium height with blue/green eyes.

He has distinctive sleeve tattoos on both arms.

He was last seen wearing a short-sleeved maroon shirt, denim knee-length shorts and dark coloured canvas shoes.

Police have also released CCTV footage of him entering a Spar shop hours before his last confirmed sighting.

On Monday night a huge crowd gathered at Belfast City Hall to volunteer to help take part in the search.

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