Desperation as family and friends travel to UK to search for missing Portuguese student

British police have said they are “increasingly worried” over the safety of missing Portuguese student Diogo Moreira whose disappearance in Brighton last week has sparked a major manhunt, with not only family and friends but also the Portuguese government getting involved.

On Tuesday, Portuguese papers referred to “over 1,000 leaflets” that have been distributed over the university town appealing for anyone with information on what might have happened to
Diogo to come forwards, while police helicopters have been scouring the city in ever-widening circles, looking for anything that could lead them to the missing 29-year-old.

Searchers were joined this week by two of Diogo’s brothers from Portugal, one of which told reporters: “I had no idea my brother had so many friends.”

But sadly the existence of boots on the ground has so far revealed nothing.

A number of “false sightings” have been reported but officially this far the news is bleak.

Nonetheless, a Facebook entry on the “Help Find Diogo” page alluded this (Wednesday) morning to a sighting at 6.20am in Brighton: “DIOGO HAS BEEN SEEN”, read the entry, explaining the young man was “wearing a dark red/maroon hoody (he does own one) and long khakhi brown shorts and trainers”.

The geology and environmental sciences student who was reported missing since Tuesday July 14 was apparently “talking to himself” and “swearing at himself”.

He is described as looking “dishevelled”.

The entry, posted in English, adds that an eyewitness has called the sighting in to police.

Sussex police mounted their international appeal earlier this week, saying Diogo’s disappearance was “totally out of character”. Police added that he had left “all his belongings, including his wallet with all its contents” behind him.

The circumstances of Diogo’s disappearance were odd too, in that he is reported to have stayed the night with a friend, watched television and then gone to bed. But at 4am the following morning, when the friend got up to use the bathroom, Diogo was apparently no longer there.

There has been mention of a sighting of him talking to a group of French students at the nearby Brighton railway station as well as references to a weekend spent at a music festival where he is understood to have lost his mobile phone.

On Tuesday, Lusa news agency reported that Portugal’s secretary of state for the communities José Cesário was following the case, but had so far received no news.

Hope now is that Wednesday’s sighting may swiftly lead searchers to their friend and loved one.

Diogo who is medium height with short brown hair and eyes has lived in the UK for the last six years and was paying his way through university by working part-time in a café.

July 10 is the last time his parents who live in Espinho are understood to have spoken with him.

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