Belfast Telegraph

We just want you home: Norman Prentice's family makes tearful appeal

By Claire Williamson

A distressed Northern Ireland family has made an emotional appeal for the safe return of missing man Norman Prentice, telling him: "Come home, we are waiting for you."

The 55-year-old was reported missing on January 15 but had not been seen for a number of days before then.

Police have said they are carrying out a massive trawl of CCTV footage to see if they can confirm possible sightings they have received so far.

Last week the PSNI issued CCTV images which they believe are the most recent of Norman. The last confirmed image was taken in a bank on Friday, January 5. Since then there have been a number of unconfirmed sightings.

In a heartbreaking video, four members of Mr Prentice's family - his daughter, son, sister and elderly father - appealed to him to come home or to let the police know that he is okay.

His 83-year-old father John timidly said: "Come home. We want you home. We're waiting on you."

His tearful daughter Maria addressed him directly and urged him to let them know if he was safe.

"If my daddy is watching this and he is fine and he's okay, come home and even ring the police and let them know he's fine," she said.

"And if he doesn't want to be found, he doesn't have to say to family. If he can just ring the police and they can take everything down and let us know he's okay."

His son John urged anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward, while his sister Eileen commented: "He's a character. A very jolly person who would have done anything for anyone."

She added: "My dad is distraught. He's taken it very bad.

"He can't take it all in and is thinking the worst, but is hoping it will be a good result in the end."

Eileen said that if she knew where Norman was, she would be straight out to get him.

She revealed her brother had not withdrawn any money from the bank since January 7, and his phone had not been active since January 4.

"My brother did not set out to do this and cause his family heartache," she continued.

"I would say come home. I would even gather him up myself and bring him home. I just want to know - it's the not knowing is the worst, and the waiting. It's the unknown."

She added: "All he has to do is lift the phone and I'll go and get him no matter where it is. It doesn't matter - we just want him home no matter what shape he's in - he just needs home."

The PSNI has asked that all premises owners in the Portadown area do not discard any CCTV footage from January 5 onwards as officers may be calling with them in the next few days to try and confirm various sightings as they come in.

The officer leading the investigation, Inspector Leslie Badger, appealed to the public to continue to report any sightings. He said: "Police have conducted a number of enquiries including searching of the general area where we expect Norman to be.

"All lines of enquiry have been very positive but we have not located Norman. We are concerned about Norman's welfare and whereabouts. Norman, if you are watching or hear of this in relation to you, please contact us because we are concerned about your welfare, and let us know that you are safe and well."

If you have seen Norman since January 5, contact police on 101.

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