Sophie Smith | Norfolk Constabulary

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Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith

Police have confirmed missing Gorleston woman Sophie Smith had left a note to her family outlining her intentions.

The 21-year-old student, who went missing on Boxing Day, had been suffering severe anxiety and depression, which she had openly discussed with her mother and close family and friends, who had been supporting her. Sophie had also been receiving treatment for her mental health.

Inspector Will Drummond said: “We know from speaking to her family that Sophie had previously spoken about her intention to enter the sea to take her own life. Sadly, we can also confirm that Sophie had left a note and messages for loved ones, outlining her intentions.”

Police have carried out comprehensive enquiries since her disappearance on Boxing Day. The last and only CCTV image of Sophie was at 3am on Boxing Day running in the direction of the beach. All other enquiries since this time have been negative.

Sophie’s mother, Lynn Shaw, said: “Sophie’s step-father Kevin and I would like to thank the public and police for their continued support and dedication in searching for Sophie.

“In our hearts we hold every hope she will return safe and well. However, as a family, knowing the troubles she was experiencing, we do fear the worst for our little girl

“Sophie had openly discussed how she was struggling and was receiving treatment. I would urge anyone suffering anxiety or depression not to fight that battle alone and seek help.”

 

Previous releases:

29 December 2017 I 15:30

Coastline searches will take place today (Friday 29 December 2017) for missing Gorleston woman Sophie Smith.

The 21-year-old student disappeared from her Avondale Road home in the early hours of Boxing Day (26 December 2017) wearing only a vest and shorts.

The UEA student, who had been suffering from severe anxiety and depression, left home with no mobile phone.

Officers believe the most likely scenario is that Sophie has entered the sea at Gorleston. Consequently, police have sought expert analysis of tidal movement resulting in coastline searches taking place today.

Inspector Will Drummond said: "Sophie had been receiving treatment for depression and anxiety. Our enquiries have revealed there’s been a degree of pre-planning to her disappearance and this, combined with her mental state and comments made the previous day, suggest the most likely scenario is that she has gone into the sea.

"The coastguard will be assisting in shoreline searches while the police helicopter has also been deployed to conduct coastline searches.”

Sophie left the family home at about 3am and she is captured on CCTV a short time later heading towards the seafront. There have been no other confirmed sightings since then.

Insp Drummond added: "Local CCTV footage has been examined but unfortunately Sophie is not captured on any other cameras. She didn’t take her mobile phone and hasn’t accessed her bank accounts or social media accounts since leaving home.

"This is clearly a very distressing time for her family and we continue to keep them updated of ongoing work in this case.”

Sophie is described as being white, about 5ft 8, of a slim build with shoulder length blonde hair. It is believed she was wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.

28 December 2017 | 15:02

Searches are continuing for a 21-year-old student who went missing from her home in Gorleston in the early hours of Boxing Day (26 December 2017).

Sophie Smith left her Avondale Road home at around 3am, believed to be only wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

Police Inspector Will Drummond "We have diligently searched for Sophie and have investigated a range of scenarios but unfortunately there have been no confirmed sightings or contact since she left her property at 3am. We have a possible CCTV image of Sophie heading towards the seafront  but, despite all our efforts, we have found no further trace of her.

"We have spoken to friends and family, conducted house to house enquiries and checked her social media accounts. We have liaised with local hospitals, places she’s known to have links and House to house enquires and . We have also conducted a widespread search, including possible CCTV sightings, but unfortunately nothing has been found. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the public to check their sheds and outbuildings in case Sophie has got disorientated and slept in the nearest place of shelter.”

"We are in close contact with Sophie’s family, who are being supported by officers at what is a very difficult time for them. However, due to the circumstances in which she left home with minimal clothing, no mobile phone, her mental state and the weather conditions, the hope of finding Sophie safe and well diminishes as time goes on.”

Lynn Shaw, Sophie’s mum is grateful for the continued assistance and support shown by the public, however has requested that they are allowed privacy at this time, and any enquires either public or media are directed through Norfolk Constabulary.

Sophie is described as being white, about 5ft 8, of a slim build with shoulder length blonde hair. It is believed she was wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.

27 December 2018 | 11:16

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing 21-year-old girl from Gorleston.

Sophie Smith went missing around 3am on Boxing Day (26 December 2017) from her address in Avondale Road in the town.

Sophie is described as being white, about 5ft 8, of a slim build with shoulder length blonde hair. It is believed she was wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Sophie or knows of her current whereabouts.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.