SEARCH teams around Glencoe have not given up in their efforts to find missing Tillicoultry hiker Charles Kelly.

The 56-year-old left his home on Wednesday, September 6, to go hillwalking and last contacted his family the next day.

His backpack was found by members of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team, but there is still no sign of the Clacks man.

Brian Bathurst, deputy team leader for Glencoe MRT, told the Advertiser his backpack was found at the bottom of a steep hill.

He said: “The search is still ongoing, he parked his car at the Glencoe Ski Centre which was positively identified by staff there.

“His backpack was located at the bottom of a hillside which is directly beneath some steep, craggy ground.

“All the terrain in the vicinity of the bag and further beyond -- that has been absolutely, thoroughly searched.

“We’re continuing with those searches and we’ve not found anything more since the backpack was confirmed to be his.”

A possible clue for the search teams came from oranges that were confirmed by Charles’ wife to be with him, having packed them in his backpack on the morning of his departure.

These oranges were not found in the backpack, prompting the search and rescue teams to urge hillwalkers to keep an eye out for any orange peels on their routes.

Brian added: “We thought that if anyone was in the area where he was last and they happened to stumble upon any orange peels, that would help us get some idea of where he has been.

“We’ve not located orange peels, despite some reports. We have searched in those areas where the reports came from and it is not possible for him to be in those areas at all.”

Glencoe MRT members have been assisted in their searches by drones, as well as those from Police Mountain Rescue, the Coastguard and police divers.

Brian confirmed that police divers are waiting for an opportunity to search in some of the bodies of water nearby.

The team will be joined by Killin Mountain Rescue in a search for Charles this weekend.

Anyone who has seen Charles or who has any information on his whereabouts is urged to contact 101, quoting reference number 4788 of September 7.