Mum of missing Belfast man Michael Cullen makes impassioned plea
The anguished mother of missing Belfast man Michael Cullen yesterday renewed her appeal for her eldest son to "come home to his loving family" as searches continued.
Talented beatbox performer and Ulster University employee Michael (33), from the North Circular Road area, was last in contact with his family just after 2pm on Tuesday, January 9.
The missing man is 5ft 9in tall with brown eyes, dark hair and a beard, and was wearing a green parka jacket, grey jumper and black trousers at the time of his disappearance.
Last week, teams of police and volunteers began to comb the Cavehill, where Michael was seen by a neighbour, with the assistance of a police helicopter and drones.
Yesterday, five days after he went missing, Michael's mother Rosemarie (62) said that search and rescue teams were widening their range to include the Lock Keeper's Cottage and Boucher Road areas.
Rosemarie revealed that Michael's mobile had "pinged" from a phone mast in the Boucher Road when she tried to call him on Tuesday. His phone was subsequently switched off.
The concerned mother-of-four says that CCTV footage of coaches heading to Dublin, where Michael would often visit for gigs, is also being viewed.
"The last six days have been an ordeal for all of us," she said.
"Unfortunately the CCTV on the Dublin coach didn't show Michael, but they are still going to look at the air coaches and Translink coaches.
"Search teams are at the Boucher Road, Lock Keeper's Cottage and Cavehill and the family is still out looking too.
"I am staying by the phones to liaise with the police in case we get any news."
Since Michael's disappearance, over £3,000 has been raised via a JustGiving page to help boost search efforts. In addition, over 3,600 people have "liked" the Help Find Michael Cullen Facebook page.
Thanking the local community for their support, Rosemarie added: "People have been brilliant - they have been joining in searches and giving out leaflets and flyers.
"In addition to family and friends, there are people who don't even know Michael who have turned out to support the searches. Hundreds of people have tried to help."
Rosemarie says that her greatest hope is that Michael is staying in Dublin or Belfast and has not got in touch as he is "just wanting a bit of peace".
"I would ask Michael to please come home to everyone that loves him - so many people love him," she said. "He is my eldest son and a great boy, this is totally out of character. Usually he is the life and soul of the party - we always talk and communicate.
"Over Christmas he was feeling a bit low, but my message to him is to please come home and whatever is wrong we will work it out."
Yesterday, police said that they and Michael's family were becoming "increasingly concerned" for his welfare and asked anyone who has seen him to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 622 09/01/18.