Questions surround search for Megan Stammers

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl
Megan Stammers. Photo: www.meganstammers.com

The search for a missing 15-year-old schoolgirl who fled to France with her maths teacher has widened.

Police believe Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest, 30, may no longer be in France and said there have been no confirmed sightings of the pair.

Sussex Police said it was working with Interpol and the French authorities over the disappearance of Megan, 15, and 30-year-old maths teacher Jeremy Forrest.

But BBC News reported Interpol was unable to confirm that it was working on the case of the missing schoolgirl from Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Neither she nor Forrest has a profile on the crime agency's website, www.interpol.int, under its "yellow notices" section which "help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves".

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl
Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest on board a ferry to France. Credit: Sussex Police

We are releasing this photo to show Megan and Jeremy's appearance at the time they travelled to France as we believe it will improve the public's ability to recognise the pair together.

Although they entered France, it is possible that they are elsewhere now.

Therefore our objectives are to identify where they are and for them to contact us, so we can bring Megan home safely.

– Chief Inspector Jason Tingley, Sussex Police

Mr Tingley said they were working with Interpol, a liaison officer in France and the French Missing Persons Bureau, plus other law enforcement agencies in Europe.

Officers believe friends might know where Megan and Forrest might be and Mr Tingley said they should not feel scared of divulging information not previously disclosed.

A report by the Daily Mirror today suggested the pair had been quizzed by police and had their phones seized before they fled to the continent.

However, our crime correspondent Jon Clements was told that report was "inaccurate".

The father of 30-year-old Forrest told the Daily Telegraph he was "worried" about his son "in case he flips".

I am worried about Jeremy. I am not worried about Megan. I can tell you my son is one of the most gentle, caring people you will ever meet. I worry for him more than Megan in case he flips.

– Jim Forrest

The 15-year-old's mother and stepfather said they were unaware of any relationship but added that Megan had been receiving extra-curricular maths lessons since before the summer.

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl
Megan Stammers, 15, and 30-year-old teacher Jeremy Forrest fled to France. Credit: www.meganstammers.com

Megan's stepfather Martin Stammers, 43, told The Sun that he worked with Forrest two years ago at The Causeway School in Eastbourne, where he teaches.

I knew Forrest as a colleague. He worked at a twin school.

He did some work for us about two years ago. He seemed a nice enough fellow - there was nothing out of the ordinary about him.

But this is all about Megan and getting her back - then the police can deal with him.

– Martin Stammers

Concerns about Forrest's relationship with Megan were first raised in February following a school trip to Los Angeles.

A friend of Megan's said another classmate raised the issue after seeing the pair holding hands together on the return flight and they would often hug each other, the Daily Mail said.

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl
Friends of Megan Stammers had seen her hugging her maths teacher Jeremy Forrest. Credit: Myspace / Jeremy Forrest

East Sussex County Council confirmed it and school officials were "addressing and investigating concerns" that were raised about the closeness of Megan and Forrest.

Because the investigations are ongoing we are not going to comment in detail.

However, the school and the county council had been addressing and investigating concerns that had been raised, in line with procedure, when this happened.

That investigation will continue and we will decide what action to take.

As the search for Megan continued on the continent, it was revealed that a former teacher at the Bishop Bell school had been jailed for child sex offences.

In 2009, supply teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years at Lewes Crown Court after grooming two pupils on social networking site Bebo.

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl Robert Healy
Teacher Robert Healy was jailed in 2009 for grooming two pupils at the school. Credit: Connors

Megan left her home in Eastbourne last Thursday afternoon after telling her mother she was going to stay overnight at a friend's house. As the 15-year-old left her home she said to her mother: "Look me in the eye - I love you".

Later that day, Forrest's black Ford Fiesta was caught on CCTV travelling to the Port of Dover in Kent with Megan in the passenger seat.

Megan Stammers Jeremy Forrest missing schoolgirl
Jeremy Forrest's car seen near Dover. Credit: Sussex Police

They headed across the English Channel on a ferry and were due to return on Sunday evening but they did not use their tickets.

The last contact was on Friday when a message was sent to one of Megan's friends, saying that she had arrived in France, however the text did not come from her phone.

  • Megan is white, 5ft 6in tall, slim, with long, straight, dark brown hair, blue eyes and was last seen wearing a white vest top and silver chain.
  • Forrest is 6ft, slim with fuzzy facial hair and mousy brown hair. He wears square glasses, dresses casually and has a black star tattoo on his upper left arm.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Oakwood. A dedicated telephone number and text number which can be used from abroad have been set up. They are 00 44 1273 475432 or text +447786 208090.