The mother of missing teenager Liam Smith is still clinging to hope that he will be found.
Alix Smith said the family were bracing themselves for a “difficult” Christmas without him.
Liam, 16, disappeared five weeks ago after boarding a 202 Stagecoach bus in Aberdeen for Deeside.
The Westhill Academy pupil, last seen on November 17, is thought to have got off at Crathes.
Extensive searches have been carried out on the Crathes Castle estate and in the area around the A93, including fields, water and dense woodland.
Police say there have been more than 200 reported sightings of Liam.
Mum Alix said: “It is now been five weeks since we last saw Liam and the prospect of Christmas without him is a really difficult situation for us to face.
“We understand the public’s interest and we really do appreciate the support everyone has given by sharing the posts and putting up posters.
“Police officers have been out searching the areas that Liam was last seen every single day since we reported him missing and we are truly grateful for everyone’s perseverance in trying to locate him.
“We continue to hope that Liam will be found.”
Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said: “We have had an overwhelming response to our appeals and more than 200 sightings of Liam have been reported.
“Every piece of information has been followed up but despite extensive inquiries and intensive searches carried out Liam is still missing.
“Our inquiries still suggest he would have travelled to the Crathes area. We urge residents, particularly in this area, to remain vigilant and report anything unusual to police.”