UPDATE: Mass search for missing man resumes on Sunday

Concerned friends listen to the police briefing

DI Furzana Nazir and Chief Inspector Matt Kennerley address the audience at Goodly Dale

Sgt John Stephens briefs each search team at Goodly Dale Primary School in Windermere

Police presence at Ferry Nab

Missing Matthew Jordan

First published in News
Last updated
The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Reporter

POLICE have said this afternoon that a search for a missing 20-year-old man in the Lake District will continue tomorrow (Sunday).

Around 80 people are currently searching areas of Windermere and Bowness for missing Matthew Jordan.

Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir said Matthew's parents Clare and Bob Jordan are among 17 search parties combing the area.

She said the search will continue until nightfall and reconvene tomorrow at 10am.

Search parties have today scoured streets, woods, sheds and the shoreline of Windermere in a massive public hunt to find Matthew, who senior detectives say has simply ‘vanished’.

In drizzly, overcast conditions and a mist hanging over England’s longest lake, teams of six were dispatched to comb two large areas of Bowness and Windermere.

The aim is to look in areas where the university student may have sought shelter such as buildings and by walls.

Police said today that they do not believe he is ‘voluntarily missing’ and have not ruled out any theory to explain his continued disappearance, which has now entered its ninth day.

Today's search concentrated on some of the areas Matthew was last seen, as well as a large part of the Windermere shoreline in Bowness including Cockshott Wood.

Search teams were knocking on doors across dozens of streets throughout the residential areas and estates of Windermere and Bowness.

With many dressed in waterproofs and wellies, they were stopping tourists to hand over flyers as well as asking residents to look in sheds and garden buildings.

Boat patrols on Lake Windermere are continuing and there was a police presence today (Saturday) at Ferry Nab.

Some local people have also signed up to help take part in the search, although Cumbria Police have had to restrict participation to concerned family and friends.

Every person has had to fill in a registration form as police say they need to be able to properly co-ordinate numbers to ensure each group is safe and accompanied by a Police Community Support Officer.

Troutbeck-based Andrew Doyle, 50, was queuing up to take part earlier today.

He told the Gazette: “We had to get involved because of the thought of somebody being missing out there. It seems strange how someone can disappear between a village and a little country road.”

Wife Kathy, 47, added: “It could have been one of our children. My boys walk home of a night - up to three miles - they should be safe.

"Local people feel very passionately about finding Matthew - after all, he could be one of ours.”

Many of those involved in today’s search have had to endure torrential downpours at times as they searched hedgerows and the lakeshore for clues, including any of his belongings such as Matthew’s iPhone, which ran out of battery on the night he went missing.

Officers have told them to look for clues - anything he may have dropped - as he was known to have a blue wallet and a Santander bank card.

Most from the North East made the sombre two hour journey down to the Lake District this morning.

Some men told of having finished a full night shift early this morning but being determined to put aside their tiredness to help out.

Some female friends – visibly red around the eyes from crying – went to school with Matthew at Nunthorpe Secondary, where he was remembered as hugely likeable.

They told the Gazette that they had felt ‘helpless and hopeless’ waiting by telephones and TV sets in the North East for news.

Instead, they said they were determined to do all they could to find a universally well-respected young man, who has now not been seen since 1am on March 27.

That was half-an-hour after splitting up with his friends at the Stag's Head in central Bowness.

From 10.15am today, around 80 people packed into the hall of Goodly Dale Primary School in Windermere for a briefing by South Cumbria Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir, and Penrith-based Chief Inspector, Matt Kennerley.

DI Nazir told the Gazette: “We are nine days on now and while I have no experience of how long someone can survive for out there, our priority is to find Matthew.

"These were four decent lads out for a night out. They haven’t been looking for trouble or caused any problems while they have been here.

"Matthew is a decent lad who was at university studying criminology and wanted to become a police officer himself.”

DI Nazir said Matthew had simply ‘vanished’ and police are keeping all options open as to where he might be.

She also stressed that Matthew was coherent when he called at properties in the local vicinity looking for someone to call a taxi, give him a room, or help charge up his flat iPhone.

“He has talked with people and held conversations, he is not drunk or incapable,” stressed DI Nazir.

“There is no suggestion that he was drunk or his drink was spiked. He’d had a drink but nothing excessive," she explained.

“I am particularly interested in people who were on Rayrigg Road where it goes into town and between Cooks House Corner from around 1am and 5am, who haven’t come forward.

"Have the police spoken to you? If they haven’t, then you must please get in touch with us.”

CI Kennerley said the search would concentrate on the areas Matthew was last seen and possible routes he may have taken to try and return to the guest accommodation he was staying at nearly a mile away in the village of Windermere.

A theory of police is that Matthew ended up on Rayrigg Road - a short quiet strip of the A592 by the eastern shore of Windermere, populated by fields, wooded areas, the shoreline and a scattering of hotels.

CI Kennerley told the Gazette that ‘indications’ from police search dogs suggest that he may have been in the Rayrigg Road area. He  said it had also been a route the group of friends had taken.

"You can see by the family and friends who have come to search for him, what sort of lad he was and it shows a lot about him as an individual,” said CI Kennerley.

“We are looking for any items he may have dropped. We don’t believe, at this stage, Matthew is voluntarily missing. Something has happened that we now need to find out about. Either something has happened, an accident, or he has got stuck somewhere.”

Marc Bullen, 40, from Normanby, Middlesbrough, told the Gazette he had made the journey down to the Lake District because he wanted to help.

He said: “Matthew is the nephew of a friend of ours who used to play cricket with us, so it was important to help our friends and show some support for Matthew.”

Friend Lee Chambers, 40, of Ormsby, said of Matthew: “He was a quiet lad, you couldn’t always get a lot of conversation out of him but he was a good lad.”

Lucy Sykes, 19, of Ormsby, added: “He was just a really nice person.”

Michael Blakey, 20, from Middlesbrough, said: “We want to find him. Matthew wouldn’t say a bad word about anybody.”

Anyone with information should contact Cumbria Police on 101.

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