The family of a 79 year old from Fermanagh who has been missing for seven months fear he could be dead.

Peter Bartlett went missing in April this year just months after his wife died from cancer.

Sophie Cooper, his granddaughter, is desperately appealing for any information on her grandfather in the hope of finding him.

Worried about the safety of her missing grandfather, Mrs. Cooper told The Impartial Reporter: “We just need to know he is safe. Our worst fear is that he has died somewhere secluded and alone. We need to find him.”

Explaining what she believes to be the reason for Mr. Bartlett’s disappearance, Mrs. Cooper told this newspaper: “My grandma and grandad lived together in Fermanagh. Unfortunately, in January, after quite a long battle with cancer, my grandma passed away. After that, my grandad became quite vocal in the fact that he doesn’t want to be alive if he can’t be with her.”

She continued: “After she passed away, he went over to Spain to spend some time with my dad, his son, who lives over there.”

On the passing of his wife, Mr. Bartlett went to stay with his son Daren Bartlett in Spain before returning to Northern Ireland.

A very concerned Mrs. Cooper added: “He arrived back in Northern Ireland and that’s literally the last we’ve heard of him. That was back in April. We haven’t had any messages. When we’ve text, called or emailed, we’ve had no response and his phone is dead.”

Although his family have not had any contact from Mr. Bartlett since April, it is believed that the police reported sightings of the vehicles that he owned.

Mrs. Cooper said: “It had been discovered by police that he had got a ferry from Ireland to France with his camper van. He then returned to Northern Ireland in May or June to collect a key for his camper after locking himself out in France.

“This key information was given to us by an owner of a garage who knows my grandad well. The most recent potential sighting was of my grandad’s Defender heading towards Dublin. However, my grandad, nor his car, have been found since,” she said.

Mr. Bartlett had been renting a property in Fermanagh when he went missing. Mrs. Cooper said: “The police have been to the property which they say is all locked up but still being paid for.”

Mrs. Cooper and her family believe that this could be due to direct debit payments from Mr. Bartlett’s account. She said: “He has his pension going in so it’s always going to cover it.”

She continued: “The last person who saw him in Northern Ireland, as far as I’m aware, is his landlord and the gentleman from the garage, so according to them, he had gone to France.”

Commenting on the police investigation, Mrs. Cooper said: “I’ve been contacting the police for updates. They are great and they’ll update me but what is most frustrating is that I’m in England, they’re over there, my dad’s in Spain and we’re all obviously wanting to get a result. The police say they are following up leads, but they don’t say what that is and when I’ve asked them to check his passport, they say they don’t have authority.”

Mrs. Cooper added: “At the moment my dad obviously thinks the worst. Understandably he’s still grieving his mum and now he doesn’t know where his dad is. It’s been my grandad’s Birthday, it’s been his grandchildren’s birthdays, but there has been nothing.

“We’ve called every night and my dad sends emails to him every day. It has been going on so long now it all feels a bit surreal,” she said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland issued the following statement:

"Police are carrying out a missing person investigation regarding 79 year old Peter Bartlett who is from the Belleek area.

"Peter is described as being approximately 173cm in height, of stocky build with blue eyes and grey hair.

"Police are following a number of lines of enquiry, including enquiries with authorities in other countries, in an attempt to locate Mr Bartlett.

"Police would ask Peter or anyone who knows of his whereabouts to contact police at Enniskillen on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 948 25/07/18."