Hundreds join dad in search for missing son

Dean McIlwaine.
Dean McIlwaine.

The father of a Newtownabbey man missing since Thursday was among 200 people who combed the streets of Belfast last night in an unsuccessful effort to locate him.

Dean McIlwaine, 22, was last seen in the Carnmoney Road area of Newtownabbey around 1pm on July 13.

His distraught father, Rodney McIlwaine, led a 60-strong search team scouring every street and alleyway between the city centre and the Mater Hospital on the Crumlin Road.

He made an emotional appeal for anyone with information to pass it on immediately, and praised the public for their help with the search.

“Somebody must know something and I just hope they come forward,” he told the News Letter.

“It’s totally heart-breaking. This is my wee boy we’re searching for. We just have to keep trying but as the day goes on it gets harder and harder.

“I am absolutely astonished, flabbergasted, and so pleased with the support.

“It has been unbelievable – the Northern Ireland people – I can’t get over how good they are,” Mr McIlwaine added.

Other teams of volunteers covered parkland in the north of the city.