A team of Malaysian police officers are trawling through CCTV images of a missing Irish man as the search for him intensifies.
Tourist Stephen Warde (32) from Kinvara, Co Galway arrived in Malaysia alone on November 15 last and rented a unit at the Mercu Summer Suites along Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpar.
A number of police officers have been assigned to investigate the case as they trawl through any images that may have caught on security cameras close to where he had been living.
Mr Warde, who is from a large family, was last seen a month ago on December 28, a day before his tenancy was to expire. All of his belongings were still in the unit when searched by police.
Police chief Assistant Commissioner Dang Wangi Shaharuddin Abdullah told a press conference late, “As of today, there has been no sign of him. Investigations are ongoing.
“He was supposed to check out from the unit on December 29, but did not do so. His personal belongings are still there. Police are intensifying the search for him.”
Investigations so far indicate that Mr Warde has not left the country.
The Assistant Commissioner added: “Checks showed his passport has not been used to exit the country.”
Mr Warde’s mother Mary Morrissey has travelled out to Malaysia to help with the search for her son and has been accompanied by two of her daughters.
In an emotional plea she said: “Not having any contact from Stephen is very out of character for him as he is a placid and quiet man.
He is described as having dark brown hair, brown eyes, and is 5’11” in height and of a heavy set.
Thousands of people continue to share an emotional post on, Missing Persons Malaysia, with one person saying, “Thinking of Stephen and all of you Mary. So sorry to hear this. Hope he is found safe and well. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.”
His Godfather Pat Greene posted: “A very difficult time Mary, I know you are a strong person and please God he will return safely home, I have the honour of being his god father, so placid and quiet, we all will pray for him.”
Mr Warde, is from a respected local family and his father is a retired Army officer.
Local Fine Gael councillor Joe Byrne urged the public to help by using social media to spread the appeal for information.
Speaking yesterday Cllr Byrne said: “Everyone is concerned for his whereabouts and locals are giving as much support as they can to the family. Information is sketchy coming from Malaysia so far. Mary has been doing her best to find her son.”
The Students Union at NUI Galway and Kinvara GAA also tweeted for anyone who had contacts in Malaysia to share information about his disappearance.
Stephen’s family are liaising with the Department of Foreign affairs in a bid to locate him.
A Department spokesperson said: “ Foreign Affairs is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dang Wangi police headquarters at +603-26002222 or its control centre hotline at +603-26977099 or the nearest police station.