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ONLY ON 3: Family thinks they saw missing Wilmington man on WWAY

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The aunt of a missing Wilmington man says she thinks she spotted her nephew on WWAY NewsChannel 3.

The woman was watching our 6 p.m. newscast earlier this week when she saw a man resembling her missing nephew.

While David Cottle Jr.'s father says he thinks the man is his son, Cottle's mother says she does not believe it is him.

A story about feeding the homeless in Raleigh shows a man who looks like Cottle. The 40-year-old has been missing from New Hanover County since March.

We showed Cottle's parents images from the video. His father says it's his son.

"Yeah, I think it's him," David Cottle Sr. "I'm pretty sure it's him."

But his mother says she would know if it was her son.

"I don't think it's David by the nose, and the ears, and the glasses," Catherine Bacchi said. "It just doesn't look like him to me."

Bacchi says she had high hopes this would be her son, but she was disappointed when she saw the picture.

"It gives me hope. I hope, but I don't know, it's just been so long now. It's just not like him not to be in touch with somebody," she said.

Cottle's father remains optimistic.

"Your hopes do go up, so you hope everything turns out the way you want it," he said. "So that's what I'm hoping to happen."

Cottle's parents tell us they just want to know that their son is alive and safe.

"We just want to know that you're OK. We do love you. Please, David, just let somebody know if you're alive... That's it," Bacchi said. "I miss him dearly."

We sent the still frames to the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. Spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says he forwarded the stills to the detective covering the case to determine whether they will look into this.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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David Cottle Jr.

I have known David for over twenty years and this is not him.