A VITAL witness could help police locate a 68-year-old woman who has now been missing from her home for almost two weeks.

Barbara Colling, from Helmsley, was last seen at around 9.30am on January 28 walking along the B1257 near Abbotts Hag after setting out on a walk towards Stokesley.

Police believe a man who was driving a dark blue estate car south along the road, close to Newgate Bank, may be able to help.

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A witness has come forward stating that they believe the man driving the car exchanged waves with a woman believed to be Mrs Colling as she walked along the road. It is believed he has not yet spoken to the police.

Inspector Andy Everitt said: “I am appealing to the driver of the car to come forward straight away as they may be able to give a more precise location as to where Barbara was last seen.”

Repeated searches for Mrs Colling have so far drawn a blank.

Anyone who would like to help in the search this weekend is asked to meet officers at 8am at the Newgate Bank viewing area, on the B1257 north of Helmsley.

Insp Everitt said: “Please contact a police officer at the viewing area who will be brief you about where the searches are taking place and how you can help.”

When last seen Mrs Colling was wearing a navy blue jacket, blue trousers, a black woollen hat with ear flaps and black boots. It is thought she was carrying a black rucksack.

Anyone with information which could help is asked to contact police on 101, select option one and speak to the force control room.