AN image of the last known sighting of missing academic Fergus McInnes has been released as police appeal for help to trace him.
Mr McInnes was pictured in Geneva Airport after buying a return train ticket to the Alpine town of Martigny, 50 miles to the west.
The 51-year-old, of St Leonard’s Bank, had been expected at a technology conference in the Idiap Research Institute on September 10 but the alarm was raised when he failed to attend.
An international investigation involving Police Scotland, Swiss Police and Interpol has now been launched.
Swiss police this week issued an appeal to find McInnes, who has been missing since Tuesday, September 9.
Jean-Marie Bornet, chief of information for the Valais Police, said: “The last time he was seen was taking the ticket and with the train but we don’t know where he has gone from Geneva.”
Swiss Police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brand added: “We know he arrived in Geneva and we know he took a railway ticket at the airport because we saw that on the camera. That is the last clue we have.”
Police were unable to confirm whether he boarded the train or reached Martigny, which lies at the crossroads between Italy, France and Switzerland.
Efforts were stepped up this week following a formal request from Police Scotland, which today reiterated its appeal for Mr McInnes to get in touch. A force spokeswoman said: “We are working with police and Interpol in Switzerland, and this is very much a joint investigation to help locate Fergus McInnes.
“Police in Switzerland have carried out detailed investigation of Geneva Airport and the railway, and further inquiry is being conducted to trace Mr McInness’s next movements.
“Police are in constant daily contact with Fergus’s family and we would reiterate our appeal to trace him as both the police and his family are concerned for his welfare.”
Friends and family previously said the Edinburgh University research fellow’s disappearance was “out of character”. Mr McInnes’ sister, Lorna, 41, was visited by her brother at her home in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, two days before he took the easyJet flight.
She said previously: “There was no sign he was going to do anything like this. He seemed very upbeat.”
Mr McInnes, a former Cambridge maths student, has previously battled depression, but his sister said the condition had not been an issue since he was last treated in 2010.