Search area widened but still no trace of 63-year-old

The family and friends of the missing mushroom picker in Santa Maria were none the wiser about the whereabouts or welfare of the 63-year-old who was last seen on Saturday. Posters featuring a photograph of the missing man without his beard have been posted up in and around Santa Maria, but as night fell and the massive search came to the end of its third complete day, no signs of the missing man had been found. Yesterday morning, the Mayor of Santa Maria, Rosa Vich, who is personally co-ordinating the search with the Guardia Civil, called the 100-plus volunteers together to detail the search plan. Yesterday the search area was widened and those on the ground were helped by the Guardia Civil helicopter although still no traces were found and the deteriorating weather conditions and cold has started to dampen the spirits of the volunteers helping to try and find Francisco Coll. Coll, one of five children, is not married and still lived at the family home with the youngest sister. A spokesperson for the family said last night “at least if he is found, in what ever condition, we can put an end to all the fear and worry. “It's the not knowing as the days drag on which is the worse.” One of Francisco Coll's sisters spoke of how well he knew the area he had last been seen mushroom picking by a close friend Lorenzo who headed home when it started to rain. “He's always gone mushroom picking in the same area and nothing's ever happened before,” she said. The mayor has made it clear that the search will resume today, but hopes of finding the 63-year-old sadly faded further last night.

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