Fresh appeal on missing Hartlepool dad Scott Fletcher
The young daughter of a Hartlepool man missing for nine months is facing her first birthday without her father.
Scott Fletcher, 27, was last seen on 11 May last year at about 20:20 BST in a lay-by opposite the Jet garage on the A181 at Wheatley Hill, near Durham.
His family say his daughter Lucie will be "heartbroken" not to have him with her when she turns five on Tuesday.
The search for Mr Fletcher has extended to Cumbria and Merseyside, where he is thought to have connections
Mr Fletcher's former partner and mother of Lucie, Shelley Marshall, said: "Every day is difficult when we do not know where Scott is.
"Lucie is distraught and misses her dad very much. She asks for him all the time and will no doubt be upset on her birthday as she wants to see him.
'Out of character'
"We know that Scott would want to be with his daughter on her birthday and we really need some answers as to where he is."
Mr Fletcher's mother Julie Fletcher added: "Scott is a hands-on father and Lucie still asks for her daddy.
"It is out of character for Scott to miss so many milestones such as Christmas and birthdays."
Det Ch Insp Jon Green, of Cleveland Police, said: "Scott's family have suffered immensely since he went missing and it is especially heartbreaking as his daughter Lucie is only a young girl and she cannot understand why her dad did not visit her at Christmas or why he will not visit on her birthday.
"As Scott's whereabouts remain unclear, his family continue to suffer and as more time passes we become increasingly concerned.
"I am certain that people locally can help us get the answers that Scott's family so desperately need, and if necessary, those with information can contact police in confidence."