Belfast Telegraph

Anxious time for relatives as separate searches go on for two Northern Ireland men and Strabane mum-of-three

By Jill Goligher

An appeal has been made to find a missing Northern Ireland man who was last seen in Belgium.

Aaron English, from Newtownards, Co Down, was last spoken to on January 9 when he presented himself at the Belgian Embassy in Brussels.

The 29-year-old was having difficulty in relation to his accommodation. Temporary shelter was found and his family were able to pay for his transportation back home.

However, this was the last contact they had with him.

Despite him being flagged as a missing person through Interpol and the PSNI's International Liaison, no further information has been forthcoming. The PSNI in Bangor said: "Whilst we can alert him in Belgium ... the power of social media has the ability to circulate his photograph all over the world in a matter of hours."

Police added: "Aaron is in no trouble whatsoever and his family back home in Ards simply need him to get in touch and let them know he is safe and well."

Meanwhile, a second Northern Ireland man who disappeared overseas in mysterious circumstances remains unaccounted for. Oliver McAfee, who was described as a "real free spirit" by friends, was last seen near the desert town of Mitzpe Ramon in the southern Israeli desert on November 21, seven months after he gave up his job to cycle across Europe.

Initially it was presumed the 29-year-old got lost on the trail, but his tablet computer, wallet and keys were found by hikers.

Fears soon rose after a series of bizarre discoveries were made near to where Mr McAfee had been travelling. However, Israeli police believe he is still alive.

In Northern Ireland, searches are also continuing for a woman who vanished in Strabane.

Lesley McHugh (69) disappeared from her home on Saturday, January 6. The mother of three was last in contact with her family at around 11pm that day but despite extensive searches she still hasn't been located. Searchers are now focusing on the River Mourne and into the River Foyle.

Mrs McHugh is described as 5'6" tall, of slim build and with brown hair. Hundreds of local people have joined the Mourne and Foyle Search and Rescue and the Community Search Rescue to help find her.

Belfast Telegraph

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