1. ITV Report

Family 'realistic' about chances of finding missing Durham School teacher Mark Bushnell alive

Mark Bushnell was a popular teacher at Durham School Photo: Durham Police

An update from police investigating the disappearance of a popular deputy head teacher at Durham School, Mark Bushnell, said his family were now "realistic" about the chances of a positive outcome.

Police teams will complete their search of the area around Crimdon Dene Caravan Park, where his car was found on Monday. Volunteers will continue searching there and the area around Blackhall Rocks, assisted by a police search advisor, over the weekend.

Mark Bushnell was reported missing by his wife, Joanna, on Sunday, 9th March, after he had been out of the house for several hours.

We spoke at length to Mark's family yesterday and they are very realistic about the chance of a positive outcome. With the help of the other agencies we have covered a huge area on land, in the sea and by air over the last few days. We have also used specialist sniffer dogs in the hope of finding a clue which might indicate where Mark has gone.

"Everything we have learned about him indicates a devoted family man who is very highly regarded by all who know him. It would be completely out of character for Mark to just disappear and not make any contact with his family."

– Insp Dave Coxon, Durham Police

Police also confirmed that forensic examinations of Mr Bushnell's car have been completed and the car is being returned to his family.

Officers have now spoken to a number of people who remember seeing Mark, or speaking to him after he parked his car last Sunday morning. However, they will continue to appeal in case there is someone with vital information who has not yet come forward.

Police community support officers will also be in the car park and caravan park through most of Sunday, handing out leaflets to visitors with Mark's photo and details.

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