Manhunt for a father with links to Shropshire who has disappeared with his two sons

By Deborah Hardiman | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

Police have launched a manhunt for a father with links to Shropshire who disappeared with his two young sons more than a fortnight ago.

Michael Cole, 43, and his sons Harry, centre, and Michael

Michael Cole, 43, has connections with the Shrewsbury and Ludlow areas.

The family have not been seen for more than two weeks and officers are concerned for the children's long-term welfare since they went missing on October 2.

Superintendent Shaun Virtue, local policing area commander for Bracknell and Wokingham, said: "A substantial amount of work has been carried out following the initial missing persons report to Thames Valley Police on 2 October, however a court order has since been granted allowing an appeal to be published.

"I want to make an urgent plea to anyone who knows the whereabouts of Michael John Cole or the two boys to please contact police immediately. Any information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, about Michael John Cole or the two boys might help our investigation to ensure they are found safe and well.

'We do not believe he poses any immediate risk to his sons but we do have concerns for the boys' long-term welfare in terms of access to education and to the NHS should it be required in the future.

“We have had help from a number of family members, friends and local residents during our investigation but so far unfortunately we have been unable to locate Michael John and his two sons.

“Although Michael John is from Aborfield he also has links to other areas in Berkshire such as Wokingham, Bracknell and Reading. He also has links to Basingstoke in Hampshire, Ludlow and Shrewsbury in Shropshire, and Bridgend and Newport in Wales.

“Anyone with any information should call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police inquiry centre on 101 quoting reference number 43170291780.”


Mr Cole is described as white, of medium build with short dark hair and a dark beard.

His son, Harry, is , aged eight, with short blond hair and blue eyes, while Michael Jnr, aged seven, also with short blond hair and blue eyes.

It is not thought that they have passports, so are unlikely to have been able to leave Britain.

The force insisted that police had concerns about the long term welfare and access to education relating to Michael and Harry.

It was understood that officers were checking with bed and breakfast and hotel owners to check whether they had seen anyone matching the photos of the father and his sons.

They do not have passports and it is thought unlikely that Mr Cole and the children would have been able to leave the country.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.


Top stories


More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News