Search for grandfather missing for a month after phone, hat and headphones found by canal

A woman whose husband of 22 years went missing over Christmas after going for a walk has issued a desperate appeal for information, saying: “I just want to know he’s okay.”

Peter Baglin, a grandfather of four, disappeared on the evening of 28 December while taking “his favourite walk” along the Bridgewater Canal.

More than 200 people have since joined the search to find him, including divers and mountain rescue teams, after his mobile phone, hat and headphones were discovered on the towpath the following morning.

But a month after his disappearance there are yet to be any positive sightings of him, according to Greater Manchester Police.

“It’s a very surreal feeling,” said Mr Baglin’s wife, Michelle. “It’s like it’s happening, but it’s not happening to me. I never thought I would ever be in this position and I just want Pete home.

“I am convinced that there is someone out there who knows where he is. He is instantly recognisable by the tattoo of ‘Michelle’ on the left-side of his neck and I’m urging anyone who may have seen him, or been with him, to get in touch. I just want to know he’s okay.”

In a tearful appeal, Ms Baglin, who works with her husband at Salford Royal Hospital, said: “There’s no sightings of him anywhere, not on [smart] doorbells, nothing. It’s as if he’s vanished, he’s just disappeared, and I can’t understand in this day and age how someone can just disappear.”

The 55-year-old left their home in Boothstown, Salford, that Wednesday evening and was last seen in a Texaco garage at the corner of Mosley Common, where he reportedly bought a small bottle of whisky.

 (Greater Manchester Police)
(Greater Manchester Police)

Ms Baglin told Manchester Evening News that she called her husband – who has “always enjoyed walking”, often alone – shortly afterwards at 8.15pm and he told her he was on a walk to “clear his head” and assured her he would “be home soon”.

She later reported her husband missing, after her quarter-hourly phone calls to him remained unanswered, and police officers have carried out a detailed grid search in the area of the towpath, using drones and underwater search and mountain rescue teams.

Ms Baglin also organised searches of the entire stretch of the canal, with over 200 people attending to help. But to date, the searches are yet to yield any sign of Mr Baglin beyond the belongings – said to include his hat, bank cards, house keys, mobile, headphones and tobacco – found on the towpath.

“Pete is the type of person who always buys homeless people a sandwich and a drink, and I really hope that someone is doing that for him, wherever he may be,” said Ms Baglin.

 (Family handout via Greater Manchester Police)
(Family handout via Greater Manchester Police)

The couple have been together for nearly 30 years and married in 2001, although “it doesn’t feel that long”, said Ms Baglin. “We’re like best buddies, we’ve been together that long. It’s like chalk and cheese, one compliments the other.”

She added: “I am at a loss – none of us can believe it. We are all just sitting and waiting for something to come up.”

“I had purpose at the start. I was getting up knowing we had a job to do. We had to find him. It's becoming harder as the time goes on. My children have gone back to work and they phone me every day asking for any news. It’s heart-wrenching to tell them no.”

Mr Baglin’s is among a number of high-profile missing persons cases currently confounding police in England, with officers also appealing for information about 45-year-old Nicola Bulley, who vanished last Friday while walking her dog, and Constance Marten, who is missing along with her partner and newborn baby.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or through the LiveChat Function on their website. Anyone unsure about coming forwards can also pass information on anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.