Police investigating the disappearance of a missing Christmas collection pub landlord say they believe he might have killed himself while fleeing the country.
Malcolm Levesconte, 59, is said to have left for France following the theft of nearly £30,000 from his pub's Christmas savings clubs, at the Royal Oak in Shrewton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Detectives have been able to confirm that Mr Levesconte booked a return ferry ticket to St Malo in France on December 9 and boarded a ferry at Portsmouth.
But police now believe Mr Levesconte did not get off the ferry in St Malo and said today they are considering the possibility that he jumped off the vessel after it left Portsmouth.
Detective Sergeant Mike Standing said: "We continue to treat Malcolm Levesconte's disappearance as a missing person inquiry but at this stage we do have to accept there is a possibility that he did not make it to France and may have taken his own life by jumping into the sea from the ferry.
"I would like to appeal to anyone who has information to come and speak to us - his family are facing the terrible prospect that he may have committed suicide. It is therefore imperative that we hear from you if you have heard from Mr Levesconte."
Officers are writing to 61 customers at the Royal Oak following the theft of the money, previously collected by the landlord.
Police are already investigating what happened to a £29,000 Christmas thrift fund that was being collected at the pub by Mr Levesconte.
The pub remains closed, police said.Suggest a correction