Sea To Be Searched For Missing Norfolk Student

29 December 2017, 11:55

sophie smith

Sea and coastline searches will take place today 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 and this information will be used to conduct sea and coastline searches 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 sea searches will be carried out by the coastguard while the police helicopter is being deployed to conduct coastline searches. Based on tidal analysis, the searches will be carried out in targeted areas."
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.