Newport man tells of alleged encounter with missing dad and South Wales Argus worker, Ben Caplan
5:02pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in Gwent news
THE SEARCH continues today for missing Newport man, Ben Caplan, as someone who claimed to have spoken to Ben early on Sunday morning spoke about the alleged encounter.
South Wales Argus worker Mr Caplan, 30, was last seen on Saturday night at 11pm in Caerleon while on a night out with friends. He was reported missing on Sunday by his wife, Danielle.
Dave Smith, of Lucas Street, Newport is one of the people who have reported a sighting of the dad-of-two. He believes he saw Ben at the back of Newport train station early on Sunday morning.
“I left my house at 6.45am. As I turned right at the bottom of Lucas Street I saw Ben, I had never met him before.
“He spoke to me and said he wasn't from around this area and had been on a night out with his friend, and he lost him and his friend lived around the area, but he wasn't sure where he lived. He said his phone had ran 'out of juice' and asked if I had a phone with credit he could use. I said I didn't have a phone on me as I feared I may get mugged.
“He then made his way up Factory Road. I could tell he had been drinking and his words were slightly slurred but he seemed to act in a normal manner.
On Monday, Mr Smith saw the South Wales Argus post on Facebook.
“I recognised him straight away from the long hair and tattoos. I'm almost 100% sure it was him. I would never have rang the police otherwise,” he said.
Meanwhile, thousands have backed an online appeal and more sightings have been reported.
Mr Caplan lives in Bond Street, Newport with his wife and two children, six-month old Jude and five-year-old Evan.
“It’s totally out of character,” said wife Danielle Caplan.
“We’re still just waiting - waiting for sightings to be verified and any more news.”
On Tuesday, the Argus reported how the search had widened to Abergavenny after a number of reported sightings in the area.
All reported sightings in both Newport and Abergavenny remained unconfirmed, a Gwent Police spokeswoman said today.
This afternoon police helicopters were back out searching the river and the Caerleon area.
More than 3,000 people have liked the ‘Help find Ben Caplan’ Facebook page which is being used to share pictures and post updates.
Appeal posters of Ben are available to download here. Newport Transport are the latest to add their support to the search. A spokeswoman said:”Newport Bus is saddened by the news of missing Newport man Ben Caplan and by putting posters up on all 95 service vehicles we hope to contribute to finding him as soon as possible.”
Danielle met case officers on Wednesday evening who said they were still following up sightings and searching the river Usk near Caerleon. No sightings have been confirmed.
Anyone who might have seen Ben or has any information should call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log number 295 08/12/13.
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