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A man from Luton has gone missing during a Christmas party in Roydon.
38-year-old Edward Gillespie was last seen in the early hours of Saturday (December 23rd) at the Roydon Marina Hotel near Roydon Mill.
When he failed to return to his home at Luton, worried relatives reported him missing and Bedfordshire Police launched an investigation.
Mr Gillespie's car has been found at the hotel and Essex Police started searching the area yesterday evening.
The Essex Police marine unit, other specialist search teams and the police helicopter are now searching the River Stort, the river banks, the hotel and hotel grounds.
Chief Insp Nick Lee, who is leading the search said: "We are extremely concerned for Mr Gillespie's welfare. He had been attending a company party at the hotel and was due to stay overnight before checking out on Saturday morning.
"His car and belongings are still at the hotel but there is no sign of Mr Gillespie. We want to hear from anyone who might have seen him, possibly walking around outside the hotel in the early hours of Saturday."
Anyone with information should call police at Harlow on 101.