The family of a missing Norfolk man have described the last three months without him as an "absolute nightmare".

Police are extending the search for James Whitman, 40, from Gressenhall, who was last seen at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at 4pm on Monday, June 13.

Officers and volunteers from Lowland Search and Rescue will be out in Cringleford, Earlham, Bowthorpe and the surrounding areas on Saturday, September 10, and Sunday, September 11, visiting thousands of homes and searching outbuildings, sheds, farms, fields and gardens in a bid to try to find James.

The area searched this weekend will be twice the size of the area searched in the immediate aftermath of his disappearance.

Norwich Evening News: James Whitman has been missing for the past three monthsJames Whitman has been missing for the past three months (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

His parents, Stephen Whitman and Sharon Sowinski, have appealed for the public’s help in trying to find out what has happened to their son.

Mr Whitman said: “This is an absolute nightmare. We think of James every day; wondering where he is, if he’s on his own, if he’s scared or lonely, happy, or sad.

"We wake up every morning wondering if today will be the day that we get some news but go to bed every night hoping that tomorrow will be different.

"It feels like someone has hit the pause button on our lives while others around us carry on their lives as normal.”

Ms Sowinski added that the family try and be normal but often feels "guilty" while not knowing about James' whereabouts.

"People stop us and ask how we are but it is difficult to know what to say, I can’t begin to explain our feelings and emotions because I can’t find the words," she said.

“The hours that James has been missing have turned into days, weeks and now months.

"We know no more today than we did three months ago, and it is emotionally destroying us.

"Please come forward if you know anything, we need your help to know what has happened to James.”

An extensive search involving officers, police dogs and drones took place in and around the areas of Earlham Park and the University of East Anglia – including the lake at the UEA – in the days after James went missing.

Officers have made house-to-house enquiries, checked CCTV footage and investigated reported sightings, however, there hasn't been any sign of James.

Superintendent Kris Barnard, who is leading the police search, said: “It’s three months since James went missing and his family and friends are desperate to know where he is.

Norwich Evening News: Superintendent Kris BarnardSuperintendent Kris Barnard

“In the immediate days following his disappearance, we exhausted all avenues open to us and over the following weeks we’ve been keeping track of his bank accounts and finances to see if they could tell us anything. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any activity.

“Regrettably, but understandably, James' disappearance has changed the lives of his family and friends in a way they never imagined possible.

"We want to do everything we can to put an end to the turmoil they’ve been living in these past months, so I’d ask people living around the UEA and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital: please cast your minds back to Monday, June 13.

"Can you remember seeing James or anything that appeared unusual and, if officers knock at your door and ask for your help or to search garden or outbuilding, please co-operate.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 quoting incident number 341 of Monday, June 13, 2022.