Family of 'vulnerable' 14-year-old 'beside themselves' after he vanishes in freezing temperatures

Credit: Family Handout

Police have been using drones and dogs as they hunt for a 'very vulnerable' missing boy last seen in school uniform.

Luke Howe, 14, went missing from his grandparents' home in Hale in Trafford just before 6.15pm on Thursday, January 18. According to local police he was last seen on Bankhall Lane.Emergency services, Luke's family and members of the public have been out searching for him overnight. His family say he has 'no concept of danger' due to his global developmental delays and autism. He has run away from home before, has run towards roads and has previously had to be rescued by emergency services.

Luke's auntie Jessica Howe said his family are 'beside themselves' and just want him home safe, with his parents 'inconsolable'.

She said: "It's a very serious situation in that when he ran out last night he purposely ran away from the house""The police have been extensively involved, they've set up drones looking for him and had police dogs come out. None has been to any avail yet."

She said the family wanted to thank members of the public who have been out in the freezing cold searching for Luke. "We're incredibly grateful"

Searches, which are continuing this morning have so far been focused on the River Bollin in Trafford and the River Mersey in south Manchester. She urged anyone walking in the Hale, Altrincham, Wythenshawe and Sale areas, particularly near the rivers and canals, to keep an eye out. "We're just asking people to keep their eyes peeled", Jessica added: "The only thing we can pray for now is that he's somehow managed to find himself some shelter."He's just a young, very vulnerable schoolboy. If anyone saw anything last night, saw a young boy behaving erratically last night, please get in touch. Police have given a reference number so if you can get in touch with them that will be brilliant."We're just absolutely beside ourselves, his parents are inconsolable. We will be out again searching today."