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Call for volunteers to join search for missing Barking man

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:00 08 March 2019

Christopher Knowles, 43, was last seen at the second fishing lake at The Chase nature reserve in Dagenham last Friday at 11.30am. Picture: MPS

Christopher Knowles, 43, was last seen at the second fishing lake at The Chase nature reserve in Dagenham last Friday at 11.30am. Picture: MPS

Archant

The sister of a missing man has made an emotional plea for people to help find him.

Police carrying out a search of The Chase. Picture: MPSPolice carrying out a search of The Chase. Picture: MPS

Christopher Knowles was last seen by a fishing lake at The Chase in Dagenham at 11.30am on March 1.

But the 43-year-old has yet to be found in spite of a police appeal and searches at the 50 hectare nature reserve.

His sister, Fay Knowles, said: “We’re not coping with this. My mum is in bits. She keeps crying. My dad is trying to hold it together.

“I’m trying to make it easier for them, but there’s just not much to go on. The support has been fantastic. But if anyone sees anything please just say.”

Christopher's family have pleaded for volunteers to help them search this Sunday (March 10). Picture: MPSChristopher's family have pleaded for volunteers to help them search this Sunday (March 10). Picture: MPS

The last known sighting of Christopher, who developed epilepsy when he was a toddler, was after he had set up his fishing gear beside the second lake before heading towards the nearby Millenium visitor centre.

Fay said that just after midday he had tried calling someone but that they were unable to answer at the time.

The alarm was raised after a friend dropped by to visit him at the lake but couldn’t find him.

Since then neither his phone nor bank card have been used and no further sightings or contact have been made.

Police divers search one of the lakes in the Dagenham nature reserve. Picture: MPSPolice divers search one of the lakes in the Dagenham nature reserve. Picture: MPS

Christopher’s family and supporters have pleaded for information on social media and handed out posters in a bid to find him as concerns have grown for his welfare.

Pat Harding, who lives near The Chase, appealed for volunteers to join a search this Sunday (March 10) meeting at the Millennium Centre car park at 10am.

“We need the public to come out and help. There’s a vast amount of land to search. This man needs finding,” Pat said.

Christopher is of a stocky build, about 5ft 8ins tall and was wearing black trousers with blue and white trainers at the time of his disappearance.

“He had so been looking forward to fishing. He loved his fishing, it’s his passion. It’s very unusual. It’s out of character. He wouldn’t leave his stuff,” Fay said.

She added that due to his condition Christopher, from the Thames View area, needs to take medication regularly.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also call Missing People on 116 000.

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