Friends of the car park assistant who went missing after a night out over New Year say his disappearance has taken a “massive toll” on the community, but they won’t give up hope.
Neil Devlin, 37, of Town Bridge Mill, Leighton Road, Linslade, was last seen on New Year’s Day in the Falcon Mews area, but police have confirmed his mobile phone records and bank account have not been used since.
Neil’s neighbour Glenn Haynes, 26, who has been heavily involved in the search, has made the Facebook page for Neil, who works at Morrisons in Leighton, public again after temporarily closing the site after it suffered abuse.
“We felt people were giving up hope and we wanted to keep raising awareness that Neil is still missing.
“But we’re getting fed up of the rumours coming from here there and everywhere. It gets your hopes up and then you call Missing Unit and they tell you there’s no update, so it’s frustrating.
“And it’s frustrating for them too because it takes up their time, but they’ve been brilliant.
“I have to bite my tongue and be tactical about it, but why do they feel the need to make up a rumour? It’s just for attention.
“Neil’s disappearance has taken a massive toll on everyone living in the flats because you are constantly looking to see if his light is on to see if he has come back.
“I think the more time that passes the more hope I have because we haven’t had bad news yet so that means there is still a chance he will come home.
“At the moment it’s all we talk about and we are all supporting each other, but if hope is gone I don’t know what we will do. It will be very hard, but we’ll have to pick ourselves up.”
On Tuesday, specialist search officers were forced to temporarily suspend the hunt after water levels rose dangerously high.
Searches have been carried out in the River Ouzel’s Clipstone Brook for the past two-and-a-half weeks, while Beds Police officers continue searching outbuildings and disused buildings.
Divers are expected to continue their search later this week if flooding conditions improve.
Glenn has taken in Neil’s pet cat, Whiskers, who was described as being Neil’s best friend prior to his disappearance.
Glenn said: “Whiskers has settled in now, but it took a long time for her.
“My three-year-old won’t leave her alone, she loves her.
“She has been whining through the night for Neil, which is really upsetting. He was all she had and vice versa.”
> If you have any information relating to Neil’s whereabouts, call the Beds Police 101 number.