Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Delays on busy motorway as police search for missing man, 58

A busy stretch of the M8 will be shut over the weekend to search for a man who vanished nearly two months ago.

Billy McDowell, 58, was reported missing on August 2. He is believed to have been last seen outside the Yang Sing Chinese takeaway Whitburn, West Lothian, at around 6pm the day before.

Loved ones had been unable to get hold of him since July 28 and investigators say it is ‘out of character’ for him not to contact friends and family.

As they step up their search effort, police will close the M8 in both directions between junctions 4 and 4a today and tomorrow.

The hard shoulder and lane one will be closed for 12 hours from 8am each day and drivers have been advised to leave extra time if passing through the area.

Mr McDowell’s family offered a £5,000 reward last month to help find their loved one,who is described as white, 5ft 2″ tall, with short grey hair.

He has a number of health conditions which require daily medication, but it is not clear whether he has any with him.

Officers have urged members of the public to check garages or outbuildings Mr McDowell may be using as shelter.

In a statement, the family said: ‘We have not seen or heard from Billy since the last week of July.

‘Each day Billy is missing seems to become the worst day of our life. We are a large and loving family. We all feel incomplete without him and are aching for Billy to come home.

‘Billy is the last person we think of before we go to bed at night and the first thing we think of when we wake up.

‘Unfortunately we have no clue what has happened to him or where he is.

‘Billy is a happy go lucky man who always has a smile for everyone. He has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone if he could.

‘He would stop to chat to anyone but he is vulnerable and some people would take advantage of that.’

A Police Scotland Inspector Myles Marshall said: ‘It is out of character for Billy to not contact his friends or family and we are urging anyone who may have seen him or has information about his disappearance to let us know.

‘Our investigation remains ongoing and as part of our enquiry we’ll have officers searching the area between junctions 4 and 4a of the M8 this weekend.’

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