Police hail power of press after their own newspaper leads to the discovery The police have hailed the power of the media after a man listed as missing more than three months ago was found shortly after his case was highlighted in the force's own newspaper - and just before a television appeal was to start. Officers with the Missing Persons Unit (MPU) had prepared a one-minute appeal to run as part of a regular segment at the end of the critically acclaimed US show Without a Trace, which premieres on TVB Pearl tonight at 10.35pm. But less than an hour before a ceremony to launch the show yesterday, the missing person - Briton Veron David, 37 - was found alive and well on Hong Kong island. That left senior officers scrambling to find a new missing person case to profile after the show. 'It goes to show the power of the popular media,' said MPU Senior Inspector Lucia Lam Sau-wah. 'This man was reported missing by his family in the United Kingdom more than three months ago.' Officers had 'exhausted all avenues' in trying to determine whether he had been abducted, murdered, committed suicide or simply run away, she said. His case was recently profiled in Offbeat, the internal police newspaper, which led to the 11th-hour breakthrough yesterday. 'Someone who saw the story rang us and gave his girlfriend's phone number, which helped us to locate him at about 1pm.' The real-life drama opened a window on the challenges faced by the Missing Persons Unit in Hong Kong, where more than 7,400 people were reported missing last year - with an average of 20 new cases reported every day. Organisers of the appeal to run on TVB hope it will trigger a flood of sightings and vital information. Following the airing of Without a Trace in the United States, the FBI employed a similar tactic, posting its own real missing-person profiles after the credits of each episode. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the creator of Black Hawk Down and Armageddon, the show focuses on a special FBI taskforce that uses advanced psychological profiling techniques to detail the last-known 24 hours of each missing victim. In place of Mr David, Hong Kong police are appealing for anyone with information on the location of an elderly man (pictured below), who is deaf and dumb, to contact the Missing Persons hotline on 2860 2303. His name is not known and he does not have an identity card. He is described as 158cm tall, 52kg in weight, and was last seen wearing a dark blue T-shirt, beige shorts and dark slippers.