THE sister of a missing Ellesmere Port man who vanished on her wedding day has made an emotional plea for him to return home.

Labourer John Michael Thomas Burke, 38, had never gone missing before but disappeared at 9.30am on Saturday, August 7, saying he was popping out for cigarettes.

John, who lives with his parents, has two children, a boy and a girl, aged 11 and 13.

His sister Kate, who recently returned from her honeymoon, says it doesn’t matter that he didn’t attend her wedding and pleaded with him to come home.

She said: “John, where ever you are, please contact someone and let them know that you are all right.

“It’s ok that you didn’t come to my wedding, I just want you to come home. Everyone is really worried about you, we want to know that you’re safe. Please come home.”

In a statement his family added: “John, please phone home or contact any of the family. We are all missing you so much. Whatever is wrong we can try to sort it out. All we want is for you to come home.

“If you feel for whatever reason that you can’t come home, phone or text to let us know that you are safe and well. Your children love and miss you, from mum, dad and family.”

John had stayed the night at the groom's house with another man from the wedding party as he prepared for his sister’s wedding the next day.

His wedding suit was hanging in the house, but was never worn.

The wedding still went ahead and concerned relatives reported him missing to police the next day.

As well as scouring parkland in Riveracre Valley, Ellesmere Port, the search has now taken in Eastham Country Park and Eastham Ferry near the Mersey shoreline. Relatives said Mr Burke would regularly walk around eight miles to the area.

Police divers have searched the nearby Manchester Ship Canal amid fears he may have lost his footing along the way.

Cheshire police spokeswoman Jacqui Hanson said: “Because it is so out of character for John to go missing, his family remain deeply worried and concerned and are asking John to make contact with any family member to ease their minds and let them know that he is OK.”

It is believed John is on foot and does not have access to a car. He is white, about 5ft 4in tall, slim, but stocky in build, with dark hair which is receding at the front.

When he was last seen he was wearing a blue Adidas jacket with grey sleeves and stripes down the sides, a blue Dunlop T-shirt, and white trainers.

If you think you have seen John, please call police on 0845 458 0000.

Police are also appealing to John himself to make contact with police or a family member should he hear this appeal to provide reassurance he is indeed safe and well.