Ben Manning: Fears for missing Leeds teenager

The desperately-worried mother of a teenager missing three days has launched her own search for him.

Ben Manning, 17, of Swillington, went for a drink in Wakefield city centre on Friday night and has not been seen or heard from since the early hours on Saturday.

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A police search that includes the River Calder is continuing and the force helicopter and search dogs have been drafted in.

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Mrs Manning, 49, husband Tony, also 49, and their other sons Jamie, 18, Simon, 25, and Lee, 29, have conducted their own search and poster campaign in and around Wakefield city centre.

Mrs Manning gave Ben a lift to Wakefield and dropped him off at 8pm on

Friday.

She said: "He was his usual happy go lucky self.

"It is out of character. If he was OK he would have rung me by now. I am more than concerned, it's just not Ben."

Ben, a pupil at Brigshaw High School, had been to see a friend play a gig at the Black Flag on Smyth Street and later went on to Havana nightclub.

She received a text message – just the letter K, his code for saying he was fine – at around 1.30am.

Mrs Manning said she only saw the message on her phone at 9am on Saturday.

She said one of Ben's friends received a voicemail message at around 1.40am on Saturday. But she believes Ben's phone may have accidentally activated in his pocket as only walking and breathing can be heard on the call.

A Facebook group, 'Find Ben Manning', already has over 1,100 members.

Ben was seen at around 1am on Saturday, in a bus shelter outside Reflex bar on Westgate.

Police say he then walked down Queen Street, along George Street at the side of the Gala Bingo and across Ings Road.

He was last seen at around 1.30am walking along Denby Dale Road between Sainsbury's and the Fitness For Less gym, just before the railway bridge.

Ben is white, of slim build and 5ft 8in tall with light brown hair. He was wearing white Converse high-tops, grey jeans, black T-shirt and a grey fleece-type jacket.

Chf Inspector Phil Wiggins, of Wakefied Police, said: "We are becoming increasingly concerned for Benjamin's welfare. We are worried that he may have become lost in the city.

"I would encourage anyone who saw Benjamin in or around the city centre, particularly taxi drivers or employees working in licensed premises, to contact us immediately."

Police last night called off the search, which was set to resume today.

Anyone with any information can ring police via 01924 334716.

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