A police search is continuing for a 49-year-old cyclist in Northern Ireland who has been missing since going for a ride on New Year’s Day. Samuel Campbell’s bike was discovered two days later at a seaside village, but there has been no trace of the rider himself.
Yesterday, police used Mr Campbells’ bicycle in a reconstruction of his last known whereabouts, an officer riding it while dressed in clothes similar to those the cyclist was wearing, reports the Newsletter.
The officer stopped along the route between his home on Tully Road in Kells and the village of Glenarm, County Antrim in locations Mr Campbell would have passed through.
“We are following a number of lines of inquiry but we always a find a reconstruction may jog memories,” explained Detective Inspector Bob Blemmings of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
“We are looking for information as to what may have happened after Samuel left home at 2pm on Sunday, January 1.
“Mr Campbell is an electrical contractor with a very close family,” he continued. “He is a father of a grown-up daughter and two sons, a husband and grandfather. He is very close to his grandson Troy, whom he always carried a photograph of.
“He has a very supportive family network and community and the longer he is missing the more concerned we are. It is possible he may have taken ill or been injured and we can’t rule out the possibility that he may have voluntarily gone missing and harmed himself.”
"When last seen out cycling near his home in Kells, Samuel was wearing a red top with the letters T.C.G. on it and long black leggings. He is around six foot tall, of a slim build with short dark hair,” the officer added.
“I would also ask that anyone who was cycling in the coastal area on Sunday 1 or Monday 2 January and wearing similar clothing to that which Samuel was last seen wearing, to please contact police so we can eliminate them from our inquiries."
Mr Campbell’s wife, Laverne, speaking before the father-of-three’s bike was found, said “we want him back.”
Quoted in the Newsletter, she added: “He is committed to his work, his family and to cycling. He did everything 100 per cent. He wanted to get his training started early and that is why he went out on Sunday.”
Mr Campbell’s brother, David, said: “We just don’t know what the situation is. We can only tell you that we wish he was back again.
“We work together – he is an electrical contractor and I’m a building contractor. We are the youngest of five boys and are very close.
“Some people call him Sammy and some call him Sam. He has a wee grandson Troy. Saturday was Troy time and you couldn’t have got Sam to do anything on a Saturday morning.”
David, who regularly accompanies his brother on rides, continued: “Once we are up and running we could do 50 miles on a run. Sam is quite capable of it.
“We just want anyone who saw him to contact the police so he can be found. We want as much information as possible to try to get him back.”
“We are asking for anyone who saw him to contact the police. We just want him to come home. He was out riding on his own, which is not unusual. There was nothing unusual other than he didn’t come back.”
The search for Mr Campbell, in which the police are being assisted by members of the public as well as HM Coastguard and the RNLI, continues.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Ballymena CID on 0845 600 8000.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.