OFFICERS searching for missing Ardrossan man Tony Lowey are keen to trace a woman known as Charlene or Charmaine.

The 51-year-old has been missing since Boxing Day and this week, his sister Joanne Lowey appealed for any information on his whereabouts.

Joanne, 46, said that her family “are very concerned” for her brother’s wellbeing, adding: “If you are watching Tony, you are not in any trouble. Our family is finding it difficult with the not knowing.

“We just want reassurance that you are safe and well Tony.” Tony was last seen by a family member around 3pm on Wednesday, December 27 when he was dropped off at his home in Hunter Avenue. A further sighting of Tony was captured on CCTV the same day in Alpine Stores near his house. There has been no contact from Tony at all, which is completely out of character, and no record of him making any financial transactions since that day. Tony is white, around 5ft. 8 inches in height, with short brown hair and a slim build. He has tattoos on his lower arms, one which says Mum and Dad and Marianne. Speaking to the Herald, Chief Inspector Brian Shaw said that officers were not searching for a body “at this stage” and had “no reason to believe” that Tony is dead.

The Chief Inspector added: “We’re still very much focussed on trying to find Tony.

“We know from Tony’s dad and sister Joanne he had a friendship with a girl but they’re not aware who the girl is as it was about five years ago. “They seem to recall her name was either Charlene or Charmaine and think she was local to North Ayrshire.

“If there is a Charlene or Charmaine out there who thinks this might be her then if she could please come forward. If anyone knows who this person is, she could be the key.

“Any piece of information, no matter how small, please come forward. We can see how distressed Joanne and the family are.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of people and taken a lot of statements from them but the information they’ve given us haven’t led us to find Tony.

“We’re expanding our search parameter – the ground search, the helicopters, our local officers are assisting with the specialist team, and dogs are involved.”

He continued: “Tony comes from close-knit family and they are extremely distressed by his disappearance.

“They just want to know he is safe and well. He is habitual in his routine in the places he visits and as there has been no record of him visiting any of those local stores or premises, we are deeply concerned.

“I am therefore asking local people to remember that Tony is still missing and to look out for him and pass on any information that anyone may have to police.”

Recently, it was revealed that police believed that Tony had left home with three bags. Chief Inspector Shaw confirmed that none of the bags had yet been located.

He said: “It was maybe to try and jog people’s memory. He left his family with a Sainsbury’s Bag for Life.

“We were hoping that maybe someone saw that or a couple of black bags he had.

“We were hoping if we found them it might lead us to Tony.” Anyone with information is asked to call officers at Irvine Police Station via 101, quoting incident 0936 of 29 December 2017.