Serious concerns have been expressed for Mr Balmer’s welfare, who is described as white, approximately 5ft 9″ tall with a beard and moustache.
Virgil, who lives in Newport, was last seen at around 09:30 yesterday morning when he left his home to catch a bus to Ventnor. However, later in the morning a member of the public spotted him getting off a Southern Vectis bus in Godshill.
He was last seen wearing grey trousers and a blue coat and carrying his multi-coloured walking stick.
Virgil has muscular dystrophy and has missed his medication. The family say it is very unlike Virgil to go missing.
Officers from the National Police Air Support unit conducting an aerial search of the Godshill area during the early hours of the morning, however the search did not locate Mr Balmer..
WightSAR, the Island’s volunteer search and rescue team, have been deployed to assist Hampshire Constabulary in their search. The team were placed on standby at 08:20 and deployed at 10:45.
“We’re extremely concerned for Virgil’s welfare. He’s missed his medication which will impact on his ability to walk and therefore the possibility of a collapse is a consideration.
“There’s nothing to suggest he’s left the Island and so I’d like to hear from anyone who may have seen him, especially in the Newport or Ventnor areas.
“He’s carrying a very distinctive, red, white and blue striped walking stick so I’m hoping he will be easy to spot.”
UPDATE @ 14:05 – Hampshire Constabulary say they are widening their appeal to locate missing Virgil Balmer as it is possible that he travelled to the mainland.
The main focus of the appeal and enquiries remains on the Island.
Searches have been carried out in areas where the 54-year-old has been sighted or where it’s believed he could be. These include Newport, Godshill, Ventnor and the Newport to Cowes cycle path.
Hampshire Constabulary say they have received a lot of good information from the appeal so far and would like to thank everyone who has contacted them.
Officers would like to speak again to the person who believes they saw Mr Balmer on Sunday (22nd February) in Godshill.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101. In an emergency dial 999.