Family join in search for missing teenager

THE family and friends of a missing 17-year-old who disappeared after a night out in Wakefield have been helping in the search for him as police said last night that they are becoming increasingly concerned.

Benjamin Manning, known as Ben, who lives in Swillington, Leeds, was reported missing on Saturday morning by his mother after he failed to return home.

Ben had been dropped off in the city centre by his mother on Friday and had been to watch his friend's band play a gig in the Black Flag on Smyth Street.

Police have carried out extensive searches of local land with dogs and the West Yorkshire Police helicopter has also been used.

Officers said on Sunday that Ben may have got lost while looking for a taxi rank and could be lying injured in an alleyway or a side street.

Yesterday Ben's family were handing out posters around Wakefield. A site has also been set up on Facebook appealing for help finding him.

Ben was seen sitting in a bus shelter outside the Reflex bar on Westgate at about 1am on Saturday. He then walked down Queen Street, along George Street at the side of the Gala Bingo, across Ings Road and was last seen at around 1.30am walking along Denby Dale Road between Sainsbury's and the Fitness For Less gym just before the railway bridge.

He sent his mother, Christine, 49, a text message at 1.30am saying "K", meaning "okay", and he has not been seen or heard since.

Chief Insp Phil Wiggins said: "We are becoming increasingly concerned for Benjamin's welfare. His disappearance is totally out of character and we are worried that he may have become lost in the city."

Anyone who has information is asked to contact police via 01924 334716.