Police search of River Ouse for missing York man draws a blank

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

POLICE divers have drawn a blank in a search of the River Ouse, organised today as part of efforts to locate missing York man Chris Baker.

The Regional Police Underwater Search Team launched its boat on the river this morning, after river levels were thought to have dropped low enough following recent flooding to allow for a safe underwater search.

However, a North Yorkshire Police spokesman said it emerged that levels were still too high, and the team instead searched the river and its banks by boat from Naburn to the city centre using sonar equipment.

He said it was hoped an underwater search would be possible over the next few days.

Mr Baker, 29, of Albemarle Road, was driving to work as an accountant for the City Healthcare Partnership at Hull Royal Infirmary on Thursday December 20 when he suddenly abandoned his grey Renault Megane on Skledergate Bridge in York city centre at around 7.15am.

He then gestured to a woman in the car behind him before jumping over the wall of Skeldergate Bridge into Tower Gardens, on the banks of the River Ouse, and has not been seen since.

The spokesman said officers had been making inquiries since his disappearance but their search had been hampered by the high river levels.

He said Mr Baker is white, around 5ft 9in tall, with a slim build and curly, dark brown hair, and he was wearing a striped work shirt when he was last seen.

Anyone who can help officers with their inquiries is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 1 – and pass information to the Force Control Room, quoting reference number 12120213721.

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