Saturday 24 August 2019

Fears grow for missing Kayleigh (15) as mobile phone found

Undated handout photo issued by Leicestershire Police of Kayleigh Haywood
Undated handout photo issued by Leicestershire Police of Kayleigh Haywood

A mobile phone thought to belong to a missing 15-year-old girl has been found in the area where she was last seen.

Officers investigating the disappearance of Kayleigh Haywood said the phone was found by a member of the public in the Ibstock area of Leicestershire.

Two men, aged 27 and 28, have been arrested in connection with the teenager's disappearance and are currently in police custody.

Meanwhile, Sence Valley Forest Park, on the outskirts of Ibstock, has been sealed off by search teams.

Detective Chief Superintendent David Sandall, of Leicestershire Police, said: "Our concern for Kayleigh is growing.

"She does not have her phone with her and has no way of contacting us, which adds to our worries about her safety.

"We have been trying to piece together her last movements and we believe she may have been in the Sence Valley Forest Park area on Saturday afternoon.

"I would urge you to get in contact with us if you were in the area between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning.

"This area is used by a lot of local people, particularly dog walkers, and it is these people I need to hear from."

Anyone with information is urged to call the dedicated incident room on 0800 096 1233 or 020 7158 0197.

Kayleigh, from Measham, was dropped off at Ibstock Community College by her parents at 6pm on Friday and last spoke to them on Saturday morning.

As part of the police inquiry, two addresses in the newly-built Bakers Croft residential development, which is close to the forest park, have been cordoned off by police.

Speaking to reporters and camera crews near the entrance to a bridleway leading to the forest park, Mr Sandall, Leicestershire Police's head of crime, made a direct appeal for Kayleigh to get in touch.

The officer said: "This is an appeal to Kayleigh herself. Kayleigh, if you hear this or see this appeal, then please contact your family or please call the police.

"We just want to check that you are safe and well."

Mr Sandall added: "A phone which we believe belongs to Kayleigh has been found in this area. That does cause us some concern because obviously it means she can't contact anybody or call anybody."

Appealing for information to assist the inquiry and details of any sightings of the missing teenager between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, the officer went on: "Anything, however small, however much detail you've got, please ring the incident room.

"Obviously, as you would understand, Kayleigh's family are deeply concerned that she has not come home, as are we."

Bakers Croft residents said police activity on the estate began on Sunday.

Retired carpenter Jeff Timmins, whose driveway overlooks the cordoned-off homes, said one of the properties was occupied by a man who had lived there for around two months.

Mr Timmins, 63, said: "We had a couple of officers come last night and take statements from my wife and myself.

"The police just told us there had been an incident. They showed us a picture of the young girl to see if we recognised her but I have never seen her.

"I just hope they find her. The parents must be absolutely distraught."

Ibstock Community College principal, David Phillips, said the school was "very concerned" over the former pupil's welfare.

In a statement he said: "We are a small school and so every student who has been part of our community is well known.

"We have a strong relationship with Kayleigh's family and this continues.

"Our staff and students urge anyone with any information to contact the police on 0800 096 1233.

"As the search continues, we can assure parents that school is continuing to focus upon learning as well as giving support to students who are understandably concerned.

"The school will continue to provide a safe and calm environment for all of our students."

Kayleigh was a pupil at the school until 2013. Leicestershire Police officers were said to be supporting her family at their home in nearby Measham.

PA Media

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