Police continue to appeal for information on 'high-risk missing person' as pair released

Police continue to appeal for information on 'high-risk missing person' as pair released

POLICE in Northern Ireland are continuing to appeal for information on a missing man who was last seen more than 10 days ago.

A criminal investigation has been launched into the disappearance of Lee Johnston, 21, from the Coleraine area.

He was first reported missing to police last Friday, with investigators saying his disappearance is 'completely out of character'.

The renewed appeal comes as two people arrested by officers investigating the young man's disappearance were yesterday released on bail.

'Worrying time'

"We are continuing to search for 21-year-old Lee Johnston, from the Coleraine area, who we are treating as a high-risk missing person," said Superintendent Michael O'Loan.

"Lee was first reported missing to police on Friday evening, October 13 and we are becoming increasingly concerned about his safety.

"It is completely out of character for him to not be in contact with his family, who are being supported by specialist officers during this worrying time.

CCTV captured Mr Johnston in a supermarket in Cookstown (Images: PSNI)

"We have launched a criminal investigation into his disappearance to support the missing person investigation.

"Two people, a woman aged 31 and a man aged 33, who were arrested have since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

"Lee has links to the Coleraine, Ballymena, Limavady and Cookstown areas.

"I am appealing directly to Lee to make contact with the police, family or friends so that we know you are safe and well."

New confirmed sighting

Investigators have also appealed to the public to contact them if they have seen Mr Johnston and have released further details of his last known movements.

He was last seen on Saturday, October 7 and police believe he was in the Mullagh Park area of Maghera at 4pm that day.

CCTV then captured him in a supermarket on the Orritor Road in Cookstown at approximately 4.52pm.

A new confirmed sighting of Mr Johnston has placed him in the Dunmore Crescent area of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone at 5.24pm.

"Please look at the photograph of Lee," added Superintendent O'Loan.

"He has short brown hair, blue eyes and around 5’ 9” in height, and was last seen wearing a blue hooded-top and tracksuit bottoms.

"I am appealing to anyone who was travelling through the Mullagh Park area in Maghera between 3pm and 4pm on Saturday, October 7 to think if they saw Lee or anything unusual or saw [him] following his visit to the supermarket after 5pm.

"If you did, please report it to police immediately."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1782 of October 13.