FAMILY and friends of missing Co Antrim barber Dean ‘Mac’ McIlwaine will be carrying out a fresh search for him this evening.
It is the fifth day that Dean has been missing and everyone who knows and loves him are deeply concerned for his whereabouts.
Despite a massive appeal for information across social media, Dean has yet to be traced.
Searches have been carried out from Carrickfergus to Belfast but to no avail.
There have been a number of reported sightings of Dean but none have borne fruit.
His disappearance has left his friends lost for a reason as to why he has vanished without trace.
He was last seen on the Carnmoney Road last Thursday, July 13 near a bust stop.
One friend told Belfast Daily: “We are just at a loss as to what has happened to Dean.
“He had everything going for him. He has a beautiful girlfriend and he was about to open his own barber’s shop and had put all his time and efforts into getting ready.
“And then this happens. It is totally out of character which is why people just don’t understand what has happened. It has hit everybody for six.
“His family and friends just want him back home. They have been putting up posters all around where he lived in the hope somebody has seen him.
“Everbody who knew him and his family will be out this evening for a fresh search in the hope they can turn up some clue to his whereabouts.
Tonight’s search has been posted on Facebook.
It reads: “We are still trying to find my cousin Dean Mac, last seen on the 13th July around 1pm on Carnmoney Road.
“There is an organised search tonight starting from the back of the City Hall at 8 pm, everyone is welcome to help family and friends try to find Dean.
“Carnmoney Road, Sandy Row and parts of Belfast have been searched by family and friends but it would be great for people to keep an eye out everywhere as there is nothing solid to go on to point us in any direction.
“He was around Carnmoney and in Carrickfergus leading up to his disappearance so please keep an eye out everywhere.
“Thank you for sharing and caring, Deans family and friends really appreciate it, we just want him home x
Although the search is being conducted by family and friends, the PSNI will have an input into this evening’s search.
Officers remain concerned for his whereabouts.
Sergeant David Coulter said: ““Dean is described as being 5’8” in height; of medium build with blue eyes, dark hair and a beard.
“He also has sleeve tattoos on both arms.
“He was last seen in the Carnmoney Road area of Newtownabbey on Thursday, July 13, at around 1 pm, wearing a light coloured tee-shirt, blue denim shorts and flip-flops.
“We would ask Dean or anyone who has seen him or knows his whereabouts to make contact with police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 121 of 14/7/17.”
If you have seen Dean today or in the past few days but thought nothing of it, please contact the police immediately with the information on the 101 number.
Every piece of information could be vital in tracing Dean.