A MISSING man who vanished nearly two weeks ago could have fallen into a nearby river, it was revealed today.

Police officers have launched a desperate plea to track down Steve Holland after he was last seen drinking at a pub with friends on Friday, December 8.

The 59-year-old father did not report for work the following Monday and has not been seen since. His bank cards have not been used since he vanished.

Mr Holland, who was wearing a black jacket when he vanished, was last seen heading towards the Wharf in Newbury.

Chief Inspector Lindsey Finch admitted the force are concerned Mr Holland, who does not live with his family, could have fallen into the River Kennet.

She said: "That [exploring the river] is one of the possibilities that we are investigating.

"He didn't have his car with him, his car is where we would have expected it to be.

"Mr Holland was reported missing by work colleagues and family.

"I can only imagine what his family are going through.

"It is very out of character. This is not something that has happened before and that is one of the reasons we are so concerned."

Officers are searching three routes which he could have taken home and residents were urged to check their garden sheds in case Mr Holland took refuge in them.

CI Lindsey added: "What we are really interested in from the public is asking people who live on what they consider to be a route home from Newbury town centre to Thatcham to search their outhouses or gardens to see if there is anything unusual there.

"We have done lots of investigations into all sorts of things and there has been no sign of any activity in relation to this investigation.

"We are trying to find out anything from anyone who saw Mr Holland on that Friday night."

Anyone with any information should contact Thames Valley Police on 101.