Wednesday 21 August 2019

Gaia Pope: Everything we know so far as investigation continues into disappearance of teen (19)

Three arrests have been made as the investigation into the young woman's disappearance continues

Handout of Gaia Pope as detectives have arrested a man and woman on suspicion of murdering the teenager who has not been seen for nearly a week. Photo: Dorset Police/PA Wire
Handout of Gaia Pope as detectives have arrested a man and woman on suspicion of murdering the teenager who has not been seen for nearly a week. Photo: Dorset Police/PA Wire
Gaia was seen at St Michael's Garage on Valley Road in Swanage
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Police have made a third arrest following the disappearance of teenager Gaia Pope. Here is everything we know so far.

Missing since November 7

The teenager, from Langton Matravers, was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared. When she was last seen she was wearing grey and white woven leggings, white trainers and a red checked shirt with white buttons.

Dorset Police have released CCTV of her buying an ice-cream in a garage.

Investigators said the last reported sighting of Ms Pope was at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road at around 4pm after CCTV showed her jogging along a road.

POLICE Gaia 15.jpg
Gaia was seen at St Michael's Garage on Valley Road in Swanage

Her family said she is a "home bird" whose disappearance was out of character.

Arrests

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of Gaia's murder, with a 19-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman released under investigation earlier in the week.

On Thursday a man (49) became the third person arrested during the course of the investigation. Sky News reports that the man is known to the youngster.

Discovery of clothing

On Thursday women’s clothing were found close to cliffs in Dorset and tests were being carried out to determine if they belong to the young woman.

The clothing was found at 10.28am on Thursday morning by a member of the public, near a coastal path.

Senior investigating officer Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Following the discovery of these items of clothing, a full and thorough search will now take place in the field and surrounding area.

“We have seized the clothing and investigations will now be carried out to identify who it belongs to.

“We have updated Gaia’s family who continue to be supported by specially trained officers.

Family appeal

In a statement issued through Dorset Police the teen's family said: "If anyone knows where Gaia is we beg you to let us know.

"To Gaia. We all love you forever. We miss you beyond words. We will find you darling girl.

"The thought of seeing the sunshine of your smile again soon keeps us all going and hoping.

"The massive effort to find Gaia has been great comfort in what everyone will understand is a deeply worrying and scary experience for all who love Gaia so deeply.

"We understand that the police continue to investigate all possible scenarios, and we want to emphasise that the search for Gaia continues," the statement said.

"We are aware of the arrests that have taken place but want to emphasise that these must not put a stop to the search until or unless there is a definite conclusion."

Anyone with information or knowledge as to Gaia's whereabouts is asked to contact the police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.

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