MISSING Royal Marine Ralph Hebden is now the father of a healthy baby girl.
Two weeks on from the last confirmed sighting of the 32-year-old serviceman, his wife Sarah, who gave birth to their daughter on Friday, today (Monday) urged her husband to get in touch.
She said: “Ralph, your daughter has been born. She is safe and healthy and we are both doing well. But we both need you home with us and we need you now. Please come home.”
Ralph was last seen outside Morrison’s store in Arbroath shortly after 8.30 a.m. on Monday, March 11. He had left home with the intention of going for a run in the Victoria Park/Arbroath cliffs area.
Officers returned to the area this morning to speak with people in the hope that anyone who was there two weeks previously might recall something that could assist enquiries.
Ralph is six feet four inches tall and of muscular build with short cropped fair hair. When last seen he was wearing black trainers, dark blue or black jogging bottoms, a blue fleece and a black beanie hat. He had a blue rain jacket with him when he left his home.
In the time since, extensive searches have been carried out in Arbroath and beyond, at times involving the assistance of Ralph’s Royal Marine colleagues. Local residents have also been urged to check sheds, garages and outbuildings for any sign that someone might have taken refuge, either overnight or temporarily.
Up to 30 police officers have been working in the enquiry, including 20 officers local to Angus. Two officers are also currently in Ralph’s home town of Liverpool to ascertain if any information of value can be gained there.
Officers have spoken to hundreds of people across the Angus town in the hope they might have seen Ralph on the day he went missing, or in the time since. A total of 140 witness statements have been noted.
Exhaustive reviews of public and private CCTV footage have also been undertaken.
Inspector Ally Robertson said: “Clearly, our fears for Ralph grow with each passing day, but we dearly hope that news of the best possible kind – being a dad to a healthy baby girl – will reach him. Sarah and the baby need Ralph home. Ralph’s family need to know he is safe and well and I appeal to him to get in touch as soon as possible to offer Sarah some peace of mind at what should be a happy time.”
Ralph is a keen walker and is known to go on very long walks, heading miles outside of the Arbroath area, sometimes venturing as far as Barry Buddon and even the Carse of Gowrie.
The enquiry team has not discounted the possibility that he has travelled even farther afield and continue to make enquiries, not only with police forces across the UK, but also with hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation in the hope that someone might have seen Ralph. Public and private transport operators have also been contacted as enquiries enter their third week.
Anyone who knows where Ralph is or who has information that could assist Tayside Police in tracing him should call 101 or speak to any police officer.