THE father of a Bedhampton man missing in Scotland has told of his upset at his son’s disappearance.
Jason Gates, 36, was last seen on March 12 in the Scottish Highlands where he had gone for a walking break with his spaniel Max.
His dog was seized by police on Tuesday after it mauled several sheep, killing two of them.
The pet’s microchip led police to Mr Gates but his car was found abandoned – sparking the major search.
His dad Malcolm, 67, of Portsmouth, told The News: ‘It’s totally out of character.
‘He’s got a brand new car, he’s just left it.
We’ve had reports of him wandering around the Highlands looking for his dog but that’s about itMalcolm Gates
‘He’s left his dog, they’re inseparable.
‘We’ve had reports of him wandering around the Highlands looking for his dog but that’s about it.’
The dog still had a lead on him when found by police.
Mr Gates lives in Bedhampton but had moved into the Marriott hotel in Northarbour for a month while his home is renovated by builders.
His father said his accountant son went to Aviemore in Scotland for a walking break.
Malcolm added: ‘They’re analysing his credit cards, we won’t know the outcome of that until later.
‘If he’s spending on that we know he’s alive.’
Police Scotland and the coastguard had been searching Loch Ness to try and find him.
Mountain rescue officers have now joined the search.
Malcolm said his son had been stressed but the disappearance was out of character.
In a statement on Sunday, Highland & Islands Police Division, part of Police Scotland, said: ‘Officers are continuing searches in the Drumnadrochit area today, Sunday, March 20, for missing Jason Gates, 36.
‘A number of resources are involved including specialist dogs.
‘Jason, who is from the Hampshire area, was reported missing on Thursday 17 March 2016.
‘He is described as being 6’3” tall, of slim build, with short, cropped greying hair with facial stubble. It is unknown what clothing he was wearing but he habitually wears black jeans, t-shirt and black padded jacket and tweed jacket and possibly walking boots
‘Police would like to thank the public for their support to date and appeal to any person with information contact Police Scotland on 101.’