THE sister of missing school-girl Chloe Kinsella said she was beginning to "lose hope" of her being found alive.
Linsey Kinsella (23) said: "It's day four. Every day that passes, it's kind of fading, and you are kind of losing hope.
"I think personally someone out there has her, because Chloe would have come home (by now). That's what I think, that she is being held."
Gardai said they had "no information" to suggest Chloe (15) had either been abducted or murdered.
She disappeared last Saturday night after leaving her family home in Kileely, Co Limerick.
Garda sniffer dogs led officers from her bedroom, over a wall and into a nearby school. However Chloe's scent ran cold outside the school at a busy road.
About 500 people gathered yesterday at St Munchin's Community Centre, where the search effort is being co-ordinated. The pretty teenager, regarded as an "excellent" freestyle and hip-hop dancer, danced for President Michael D Higgins when he visited the community soon after his election two years ago.
"It is not a murder investigation, it's a missing person's case. The searches are ongoing. There is a big garda search liaising with all the search groups and the community. There is great co-operation between the family, Chloe's friends, gardai and the search teams," a garda said.
Linsey Kinsella denied suggestions by some that the family had contacted a clairvoyant who told them Chloe was been held against her will or dead.
Chloe's mother, Shirley, thanked those searching for her youngest daughter, and said: "I'm devastated, and the longer the days go on it's worse. There's no ending to it. I just hope to God that she comes home safe, that's the main thing."
In a direct appeal to her missing daughter, the mother of nine said: "If she's with someone out there, just come home. I just want to hold her. I miss her so much. I love her.
"There's no sign of her at all.
"They are just coming up with empty traces. I'm just losing my head at this stage.
"The night-time is the worst, waiting for the night-time to come in, because I don't know where she is or if she's lying out there or what's after happening to her."
She added: "If anyone has her, will ye please let her go."
Vera Dillon (58), a local mother of four, has been helping in the search since Sunday.
"I have four grown-up children and four grandchildren and this is every mother's worst nightmare," she said.
Another searcher, Michelle Brosnihan, said: "It's devastating for the family. I just can't believe what they're going through. We are just trying to do our best for them."
By David Raleigh